No Relief for Homeowners With Rotting Chinese Drywall

Many seek alternate shelter; others have to tough it out
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2010 8:09 AM CDT
In this Oct. 15, 2009 file photo, a large chunk of Chinese drywall from the Alfonso Sanchez home in Davie, Fla. leans against the wall.   (AP Photo/J Pat Carter, file)
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(Newser) – Their homes stink like rotten eggs, appliances constantly malfunction, and anything metal turns black and corrodes, but the headaches (and other illnesses) don't end there for homeowners with Chinese drywall, reports the New York Times. Though thousands of lawsuits have been filed, insurance companies aren't paying, homebuilders largely aren't stepping up to replace the faulty drywall, and Chinese manufacturers say the US lacks jurisdiction. “They are hiding behind the ocean,” says the lead lawyer in a lawsuit against them.

Which leaves those who can afford it scrambling for secondary shelter, such as one Florida couple living in a trailer in the back yard while they replace the drywall on their own dime. For others, there's nothing left to do but run the AC constantly and paint the walls frequently to mask the smell. “My property right now has no value—it’s toxic,” says one mom. “I can’t sell it. I can’t do anything." The problem is widespread, the Times notes, with some 3,500 official complaints in 38 states and thousands more thought to be unreported. For more on Chinese drywall, click here.

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