Clay County Family Waits for Chinese Drywall Settlement | Health

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Clay County Family Waits for Chinese Drywall Settlement
Clay County Family Waits for Chinese Drywall Settlement

ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- Every night when the Stricklands go home, they're reminded of the bane of their complaint and their stress: defective Chinese drywall.

"You can smell it when you walk in the door, you can smell it when you step in the garage... it hits you," said Melissa Strickland. 

In June, imported drywall suppliers reached reached a $55 million settlement with Florida homeowners who used boards from Banner Supply.  The Stricklands were hoping they were included, but they're not.

In February, James and Melissa Strickland showed us the damage to their Clay County home; damage they say was caused by Chinese drywall.

"Those are black; all of our wirings throughout the house are like this," said James Strickland.

The Stricklands purchased their home in 2006. It was built by Adams Homes. They say first the air conditioner died, then the other appliances.

"Two televisions, two microwaves, two garbage disposals, two refrigerators, two compressors in my garage, two coffee pots," said James.

The drywall in their home was made by Knauf's Plasterboard in Tianjin China.  The defective drywall boards, in hot climate, tend to release a sulfur-like gas. A Florida Department of Health report reveals the fumes can cause pipes and wiring to deteriorate and it corrodes jewelry and mirrors.

"We still live there; we can't afford to move," said Melissa.

The Stricklands spend a lot of their time at their motorcycle business, but they say every night when they go home they're reminded of the problem.

A few months ago the Stricklands became part of a nationwide class action lawsuit being litigated in Louisiana; recently, they were offered a settlement to fix their home.

"We're just leery of signing off papers to release the house, to release us from anything future," said Melissa

Their only other choice is to wait for a class action settlement.

"It is really frustrating we can't get anyone to help," said James.

They feel they're stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place and they are not alone.

"They're finding it now in Las Vegas, they don't know how big it is; they really don't know how big it is," said James. 

We reached out to Knauf's Indiana division for comment, but no one was available for comment.

In court documents, Knauf, a German company, reports the drywall was made by its China subsidiary and it is only responsible for 20 percent the drywall boards that were imported to the United States between 2005 and 2007.

The company said it has stopped using the mine in China.

In the recent court settlement, which must still be approved by a federal judge,  Knauf and several other drywall companies named in the complex class action lawsuit denied liability.


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