Chinese drywall has the Cape Coral, Florida City Council considering a resolution that would ask Gov. Charlie Crist to declare a state of emergency over the defective wallboard. According to News-Press.com, such a declaration would make state and federal assistance, including help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), available to Chinese drywall victims.
As we’ve reported previously, Florida’s City of Parkland and Broward county passed such resolutions earlier this month. According to News-Press.com, the request for the resolution was made to the Cape Coral City Council by an organization of about 350 homeowners, and is modeled after those past by Parkland and Broward.
Of the more than 2,800 complaints regarding Chinese drywall made to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), most â€“ 1,656â€“ have come from Florida. Gases emitted from Chinese drywall are being blamed for significant property damage, including damage to HVAC systems, smoke detectors, electrical wiring, metal plumbing components, and other household appliances. These gases also produce a sulfurous odor that permeates homes, and cause metals, including air conditioning coils and even jewelry, to corrode. People living with Chinese drywall have also suffered eye, respiratory and sinus problems that may be linked to the gases.
The drywall problems have forced many people out of their homes, and some families are dealing with the heavy financial burden of paying both rent and mortgage payments. Those unable to afford additional rent have no choice but to stay in their potentially hazardous homes. Homeowners insurance does not cover damage from Chinese drywall, and builders have estimated that remediating a home with Chinese drywall could cost as much as $100,000.
Thousands of people across the country have filed lawsuits over defective Chinese drywall. One single class action lawsuit alone filed against Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd. involves nearly 2100 plaintiffs from Florida Mississippi and Alabama, and 600 other defendants. All of the Chinese drywall lawsuits pending in federal court were consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in federal court in Louisiana over the summer. The first bellwether trials in the litigation are slated to begin this month.