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  • CHINESE DRYWALL CHINESE DRYWALL LITIGATION WEBINARLITIGATION WEBINAR

    Wednesday October 21 2009Wednesday October 21 2009Wednesday, October 21, 2009Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    Presented ByPresented ByIADC C i L & Li i i IADC C i L & Li i i IADC Construction Law & Litigation IADC Construction Law & Litigation

    Committee Committee

  • PresenterPresenterPresenterPresenter

    Robert V. FitzsimmonsRobert V. FitzsimmonsPartnerPartner

    Miami OfficeMiami OfficeMiami OfficeMiami Office305.995.5425 phone305.995.5425 phone305.371.7580 fax305.371.7580 faxrfitzsimmons@rumberger comrfitzsimmons@rumberger comrfitzsimmons@rumberger.comrfitzsimmons@rumberger.com

  • CHINESE DRYWALL CHINESE DRYWALL LITIGATIONLITIGATION

  • Hurricane KatrinaHurricane KatrinaAugust 2005August 2005

  • Hurricane WilmaHurricane WilmaOctober 2005October 2005

  • The damage caused by Hurricane Katrina andThe damage caused by Hurricane Katrina andThe damage caused by Hurricane Katrina and The damage caused by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Wilma, combined with the existing Hurricane Wilma, combined with the existing housing boom caused severe shortages ofhousing boom caused severe shortages ofhousing boom, caused severe shortages of housing boom, caused severe shortages of building materials.building materials.

  • Supplies of domestic drywall could not meetSupplies of domestic drywall could not meetSupplies of domestic drywall could not meet Supplies of domestic drywall could not meet demanddemand

  • Supplies of domestic drywall could not meetSupplies of domestic drywall could not meetSupplies of domestic drywall could not meet Supplies of domestic drywall could not meet demanddemand

    Drywall supplies were being rationed by local Drywall supplies were being rationed by local lilisupplierssuppliers

  • Suppliers turned to alternative sources includingSuppliers turned to alternative sources includingSuppliers turned to alternative sources, includingSuppliers turned to alternative sources, including

    Chi D llChi D llChinese DrywallChinese Drywall

  • At least 550 million pounds of drywall fromAt least 550 million pounds of drywall fromAt least 550 million pounds of drywall from At least 550 million pounds of drywall from China, enough to build more than 60,000 China, enough to build more than 60,000 100 000 average100 000 average--sized homes was importedsized homes was imported100,000 average100,000 average sized homes, was imported sized homes, was imported

  • In late 2006 the problem appearsIn late 2006 the problem appearsIn late 2006, the problem appears . . .In late 2006, the problem appears . . .

  • In November 2006 after complaints of an odorIn November 2006 after complaints of an odorIn November 2006 after complaints of an odor In November 2006 after complaints of an odor from the drywall, Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin from the drywall, Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co a manufacturer of the Chinese drywallCo a manufacturer of the Chinese drywallCo., a manufacturer of the Chinese drywall, Co., a manufacturer of the Chinese drywall, hired Center for Toxicology and Environmental hired Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health LLC to conduct an air qualityHealth LLC to conduct an air qualityHealth, LLC. to conduct an air quality Health, LLC. to conduct an air quality investigationinvestigation

  • The Center for Toxicology and EnvironmentalThe Center for Toxicology and EnvironmentalThe Center for Toxicology and Environmental The Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, L.L.C. (CTEH) performed bulk testing Health, L.L.C. (CTEH) performed bulk testing of the drywall and air quality testingof the drywall and air quality testingof the drywall and air quality testing.of the drywall and air quality testing.The CTEH report suggested that the root cause The CTEH report suggested that the root cause of the drywall smell was from iron disulfide aof the drywall smell was from iron disulfide aof the drywall smell was from iron disulfide, a of the drywall smell was from iron disulfide, a naturallynaturally--occurring mineral in the Chinese occurring mineral in the Chinese gypsum minegypsum minegypsum mine. gypsum mine.

  • Due to an unusually high number of HVACDue to an unusually high number of HVACDue to an unusually high number of HVAC Due to an unusually high number of HVAC system failures in southwest Florida, one of the system failures in southwest Florida, one of the affected homebuilders Lennar Corporationaffected homebuilders Lennar Corporationaffected homebuilders, Lennar Corporation, affected homebuilders, Lennar Corporation, retained ENVIRON International, Corporation retained ENVIRON International, Corporation (Environ) to perform testing in October 2008(Environ) to perform testing in October 2008(Environ) to perform testing in October 2008 (Environ) to perform testing in October 2008

  • Environ found that the corrosion caused theEnviron found that the corrosion caused theEnviron found that the corrosion caused the Environ found that the corrosion caused the refrigerant gas to escape and the HVAC units to refrigerant gas to escape and the HVAC units to freezefreeze--upup Materials testing of the observableMaterials testing of the observablefreezefreeze up.up. Materials testing of the observable Materials testing of the observable black residue on the HVAC coils confirmed this black residue on the HVAC coils confirmed this to be sulfurto be sulfur--basedbasedto be sulfurto be sulfur based. based.

  • Environs chamber testing with an unaffectedEnvirons chamber testing with an unaffectedEnviron s chamber testing with an unaffected Environ s chamber testing with an unaffected copper sample demonstrated that wallboard copper sample demonstrated that wallboard from China emitted carbon disulfide carbonylfrom China emitted carbon disulfide carbonylfrom China emitted carbon disulfide, carbonyl from China emitted carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide and hydrogen sulfide resulted in sulfide and hydrogen sulfide resulted in corrosion chemically similar to the coppercorrosion chemically similar to the coppercorrosion chemically similar to the copper corrosion chemically similar to the copper corrosion seen in the affected homes.corrosion seen in the affected homes.

  • The Florida Department of Health (FDOH)The Florida Department of Health (FDOH)The Florida Department of Health (FDOH), The Florida Department of Health (FDOH), through their State Toxicologist, Dr. David through their State Toxicologist, Dr. David Krause collected and analyzed drywall samplesKrause collected and analyzed drywall samplesKrause, collected and analyzed drywall samples Krause, collected and analyzed drywall samples from a small number of homes in south Florida. from a small number of homes in south Florida. FDOH retained Unified Engineering Inc aFDOH retained Unified Engineering Inc aFDOH retained Unified Engineering, Inc., a FDOH retained Unified Engineering, Inc., a private laboratory, to conduct testing on four private laboratory, to conduct testing on four samples of drywallsamples of drywallsamples of drywall. samples of drywall.

  • Unified Engineerings testing indicated that theUnified Engineerings testing indicated that theUnified Engineering s testing indicated that the Unified Engineering s testing indicated that the Chinese drywall contained significant amounts Chinese drywall contained significant amounts of organic material ranging from five to fifteenof organic material ranging from five to fifteenof organic material, ranging from five to fifteen of organic material, ranging from five to fifteen percent.percent.

  • Unified Engineering reported that hydrogenUnified Engineering reported that hydrogenUnified Engineering reported that hydrogen Unified Engineering reported that hydrogen sulfide, carbonyl sulfide and carbon disulfide sulfide, carbonyl sulfide and carbon disulfide were all detected at levels between 100 and 1000were all detected at levels between 100 and 1000were all detected at levels between 100 and 1000 were all detected at levels between 100 and 1000 ppb. Trace levels of strontium sulfate were also ppb. Trace levels of strontium sulfate were also found in the drywall suspected to be from Chinafound in the drywall suspected to be from Chinafound in the drywall suspected to be from China found in the drywall suspected to be from China

  • Consumer ProductConsumer ProductSafety CommissionSafety Commission

    Question:Question: What are the health symptoms andWhat are the health symptoms andQuestion: Question: What are the health symptoms and What are the health symptoms and risks?risks?

  • Consumer ProductConsumer ProductSafety CommissionSafety Commission

    Answer:Answer: The most frequently reportedThe most frequently reportedAnswer: Answer: The most frequently reported The most frequently reported symptoms are irritated and itchy eyes and skin, symptoms are irritated and itchy eyes and skin, difficulty in breathing, persistent cough, bloody difficulty in breathing, persistent cough, bloody y g p g yy g p g ynoses, runny noses, recurrent headaches, sinus noses, runny noses, recurrent headaches, sinus infection, and asthma attacks. Since many infection, and asthma attacks. Since many

    h h i lh h i lconsumers report that their symptoms lessen or consumers report that their symptoms lessen or go away when they are away from their home, go away when they are away from their home, but return upon rebut return upon re entry it appears that theseentry it appears that thesebut return upon rebut return upon re--entry, it appears that these entry, it appears that these symptoms are shortsymptoms are short--term and related to term and related to something