Charles R. “Chuck” Mullins handles serious personal injury and products liability cases in Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi state and federal court. He is currently reviewing Chinese Drywall cases.
Chinese Drywall refers to tainted drywall imported from China which corrodes copper and metal surfaces, often gives off a foul odor, and can make you sick. Not all drywall manufactured in China is bad. A small portion of defective drywall bears the name of a U.S. company. It is unknown whether such drywall was actually manufactured in the U.S. or was made in China and re-branded here. Another possibility is that the U.S drywall is fine, however, it was cross-contaminated by Chinese drywall. Contrary to popular belief, Chinese drywall is not limited to drywall measuring 1/2″ according to Lori A. Streit, Ph.D., from Unified Engineering. The same compounds found in Chinese drywall (e.g., strontium sulfide, hydrogen sulfide, carbon disulfide and carbonyl sulfide) have also been found in drywall measuring 5/8″ (typically used in ceilings) and 1″ drywall.
How can you tell if your home has Chinese Drywall in it? Does your home smell like rotten eggs or ammonia (sometimes a sweetish smell)? Is it more noticeable when entering your home and then seems to dissipate? The level of odor varies greatly in each home as does each person’s ability to detect the odor. Of course, the strength of the odor also depends on how much drywall was used in the home. Significantly, some homeowners report no smell, but their home clearly has Chinese drywall. In short, do not rely on your nose alone, particularly since many develop olfactory fatigue after being exposed to Chinese drywall.Chinese drywall corrodes electrical wiring. Check the electrical receptacles in your walls to see if the wires are blackened. Pull off the electrical plate and look inside. Obviously, do not touch anything – you could get shocked. There should be a copper wire inside. The breaker panel should also be checked. Hundreds of millions of sheets of Chinese drywall were imported from 2004 to 2006, but Chinese drywall has recently been found in homes built or remodeled as early as 2001. Accordingly, this phenomenon cannot be explained solely by the shortage of American-manufactured drywall.
The presence of Chinese drywall has been reported in 22 states, including Mississippi and the District of Columbia and is estimated to have been installed in over 100,000 homes in the United States. Unfortunately, this does not paint an accurate picture as most affected homes have a mixture of safe and tainted drywall.
If you suspect that your home has Chinese Drywall installed in it, please call Chuck Mullins at Coxwell & Associates today.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.