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dry wall allegations important that I get your opinions

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  • Jurydoctor@aol.com
    Attached Message From: To: Subject: alegations dry wall-more information Date: Wed, 12 Aug 2009 18:57:25 -0400 Thanks you for giving me your questions and
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 12, 2009
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      alegations dry wall-more information



      Date:

      Wed, 12 Aug 2009 18:57:25 -0400






      Thanks you for giving me your questions and concerns about the drywall cases. Below are some of the answers and allegations.

      the case in a nutshell:



      Toxin: sulphur gas



      Product: contaminated drywall



      Defendants Chinese and US drywall makers, developers, buildres , contractors and suppliers



      Uses: Home construction from 2004-2007



      Signs of contamination: rotten egg smell and metal corrosion



      Health: Respiratrory problems, rashes headaches

       

       

       

       

       

      $50 will be donated for each response to "back to school supplies-for the needy". I need these responses quickly as some children start school next week and can not afford the basics (pens, pencils, notebook paper, new shoes etc) 

       

      Please, please respond by telling me who they think is responsible (if anyone) How does knowledge of drywall change your opinion, what you have reasd or heard about drywall, what you need to know to find someone at fault. What you need to know to find no one at fault. Your general feelings about this class action. What information was the most important for you to make your decision.

      What laws and loopholes are involved.

      Why you feel the way you do.

       

      Some members have not given their opinions in a really long time.. I really need to hear from you Ple
      ase!

      thanks in advance,

      amy

       

       

       

       

      GENERAL ALLEGATIONS

      A.        Drywall Background

      1.      Drywall is also commonly known as gypsum board, wallboard, plasterboard, rock lath, sheetrock, gyproc, or simply board.
      2.      A drywall panel is made of a paper liner wrapped around an inner core made primarily from hardened gypsum plaster.

      3.      Drywall is typically available in 4 ft (1219 mm) wide sheets of various lengths. Newly formed sheets are cut from a belt, the result of a continuous manufacturing process.

      4.      The most commonly used drywall is one-half-inch thick but can range from one quarter (6.35 mm) to one inch (25.4 mm) thick.

      5.      The core material of drywall, gypsum, is available in two forms, pure gypsum, which is naturally occurring, and synthetic gypsum, which is manmade. 

      6.      Pure gypsum is a white to transparent mineral, but sometimes impurities color it grey, brown, or pink.

      7.      Synthetic gypsum is generally manufactured with byproducts of coal-fired powerplants.

      8.      Coal combustion byproducts (“CCBs” or “CCPs”) are the inorganic residues that remain after pulverized coal is burned. 

      9.      The primary CCBs used in drywall are byproducts resulting from a utility’s attempts to remove sulfur from flue gases.


      10.  In order to meet emission standards, many utilities have installed flue-gas-desulfurization (FGD) equipment.  Flue gas desulfurization is a chemical process to remove sulfur oxides from the flue gas at coal-burning powerplants.

      11.  Various FGD methods have been developed that chemically combine the sulfur gases released in coal combustion by reacting them with a sorbent, such as limestone or lime.

      12.  As the flue gas comes in contact with the slurry of calcium salts, sulfur dioxide reacts with the calcium to form hydrous calcium sulfate, otherwise known as gypsum.

      B.        How Drywall Is Created

      13.  In order to form drywall, gypsum must be “calcined,” or partially dehydrated by heating.

      14.  When gypsum is heated, it loses about three quarters of its water and becomes hemihydrate gypsum which is soft and can be easily ground to a powder called hemihydrate gypsum plaster.

      15.  The gypsum powder is then mixed with water to form a paste or slurry.

      16.  While the hemihydrate gypsum plaster is in slurry form, it is poured between two paper layers to make drywall. 

      17.  Drywall is formed by sandwiching a core of wet gypsum between two sheets of heavy paper or fiberglass mats. When the core sets and is dried in a large drying chamber, the “sandwich” becomes rigid and strong enough for use as a building material.

      18.  The paste or slurry is typically mixed with fiber (usually paper and/or fiber
      glass), plasticizer, foaming agent, potash as an accelerator, starch or other chelate as a retarder, various additives that increase mildew and fire resistance (fiberglass or vermiculite), and water.

      19.  Drywall may consist of two other materials with sulfur content: alkyl ethoxy sulfates as foaming agents and lignin or napthalene sulfonates as dispersing agents.

      C.        The Defective Drywall Emits Noxious and Corrosive Levels of Sulfur

      20.  Upon information and belief, Defendants’ drywall contained naturally mined gypsum and synthetic gypsum manufactured from CCBs.

      21.  When gypsum, mined or synthetic, is subjected to certain environmental conditions, the product breaks down into sulfate ions which in turn can be chemically transformed into hydrogen sulfide gas and other sulfide gases. 

      22.  The problem of sulfide emissions from drywall is well-understood in the drywall industry and has been studied for many years.

      23.  The level of sulfides emitte d from drywall may depend, in part, on contamination of the drywall with sulfur materials or the use of contaminated gypsum materials.

      24.  Sulfide emissions from drywall have been a particular problem in landfills and, as such, many landfills refuse to accept drywall or place strict limitations on the amounts and on the ways in which drywall can be disposed. An independent consulting firm, hired by a Miami-based builder, has concluded there is little doubt that the drywall manufactured by Defendants is the cause of=2
      0the corrosion in many residents’ homes.

      25.  One of the managing principles of the independent testing firm stated that: "We have definitely identified that a combination of sulfide gases are the cause of the corrosion of the coils.  The substances we've found are well known to cause that kind of corrosion."

      26.  The firm’s December 2008 results found three sulfide gases: carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide and dimethyl sulfide.

      27.  Hydrogen sulfide was found in previous testing that the company conducted on the Defendants’ drywall: “Our previous studied indicate, however, that carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide are gases that can be associated with emissions from Chinese drywall.”

      28.  According to a Knauf statement, the company “is doing its own investigation, and believes the problem drywall came from a specific [gypsum] mine, which also supplied other manufacturers.”  According to Knauf, the company stopped using the questionable mine in 2006.

      29.  According to published reports, however, some independent environmental testing firms and building experts have said the source of the drywall problem is w aste materials from the scrubbers of coal-fired power plants used to make the drywall in China.

      30.  Knauf’s 2009 statement also noted: “Until last year in Florida, no complaint had been raised and no product had been rejected because of odor or impacts to copper in the nine years of [Knauf Tianjin’s] operation.
      ” (Emphasis added).

      31.  Knauf received complaints from builders and contractors about “rotten egg” smells coming from its Chinese-manufactured drywall as far back as 2006.

      32.  In November 2006, in response to reports of odors associated with its drywall, the company hired the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, L.L.C. (CTE H) to conduct an air quality investigation in five homes in Florida.

      33.  Knauf’s 2009 statement also declared: “The sulfur compounds detected in testing in homes have been found at no greater levels than air outside homes or in soil, marshes or the ocean.” 

      34.  Knauf’s 2006 testing revealed, however, that its product released detectable, above-background levels of various sulfur containing compounds.  In particular, Knauf’s testing revealed the presence of iron disulfide from its Chinese Drywall as the likely source of the sulfur smells.  Knauf’s testing agency declared: “These data indicate that certain naturally-occurring sulfur-containing compounds can be emitted from the Knauf Tianjin product at concentrations higher than present in background air.” (emphasis added).

      35.  One importer acknowledged in published reports that the defective Chinese Drywall was “well known in the industry” by 2007.


      2.      A drywall panel is made of a paper liner wrapped around an inner core made primarily from hardened gypsum plaster.

      3.      Drywall is typically av
      ailable in 4 ft (1219 mm) wide sheets of various lengths. Newly formed sheets are cut from a belt, the result of a continuous manufacturing process.

      4.      The most commonly used drywall is one-half-inch thick but can range from one quarter (6.35 mm) to one inch (25.4 mm) thick.

      5.      The core material of drywall, gypsum, is available in two forms, pure gypsum, which is naturally occurring, and synthetic gypsum, which is manmade. 

      6.      Pure gypsum is a white to transparent mineral, but sometimes impurities color it grey, brown, or pink.

      7.      Synthetic gypsum is generally manufactured with byproducts of coal-fired powerplants.

      8.      Coal combustion byproducts (“CCBs” or “CCPs”) are the inorganic residues that remain after pulverized coal is burned. 

      9.      The primary CCBs used in drywall are byproducts resulting from a utility’s attempts to remove sulfur from flue gases.

      10.  In order to meet emission standards, many utilities have installed flue-gas-desulfurization (FGD) equipment.  Flue gas desulfurization is a chemical process to remove sulfur oxides from the flue gas at coal-burning powerplants.

      11.  Various FGD methods have been developed that chemically combine the sulfur gases released in coal combustion by reacting them with a sorbent, such as limestone or lime.

      12.  As the flue gas comes in contact with the slurry of c
      alcium salts, sulfur dioxide reacts with the calcium to form hydrous calcium sulfate, otherwise known as gypsum.

      B.        How Drywall Is Created

      13.  In order to form drywall, gypsum must be “calcined,” or partially dehydrated by heating.

      14.  When gypsum is heated, it loses about three quarters of its water and becomes hemihydrate gypsum which is soft and can be easily ground to a powder called hemihydrate gypsum plaster.

      15.  The gypsum powder is then mixed with water to form a paste or slurry.

      16.  While the hemihydrate gypsum plaster is in slurry form, it is poured between two paper layers to make drywall. 

      17.  Drywall is formed by sandwiching a core of wet gypsum between two sheets of heavy paper or fiberglass mats. When the core sets and is dried in a large drying chamber, the “sandwich” becomes rigid and strong enough for use as a building material.

      18.  The paste or slurry is typically mixed with fiber (usually paper and/or fiberglass), plasticizer, foaming agent, potash as an accelerator, starch or other chelate as a retarder, various additives that increase mildew and fire resistance (fiberglass or vermiculite), and water.

      19.  Drywall may consist of two other materials with sulfur content: alkyl ethoxy sulfates as foaming agents and lignin or napthalene sulfonates as dispersing agents.

      C.        The Defective Drywall Emits Noxious and Corrosive Levels of Sulfur

      20.  Upon20information and belief, Defendants’ drywall contained naturally mined gypsum and synthetic gypsum manufactured from CCBs.

      21.  When gypsum, mined or synthetic, is subjected to certain environmental conditions, the product breaks down into sulfate ions which in turn can be chemically transformed into hydrogen sulfide gas and other sulfide gases. 

      22.  The problem of sulfide emissions from drywall is well-understood in the drywall industry and has been studied for many years.

      23.  The level of sulfides emitte d from drywall may depend, in part, on contamination of the drywall with sulfur materials or the use of contaminated gypsum materials.

      24.  Sulfide emissions from drywall have been a particular problem in landfills and, as such, many landfills refuse to accept drywall or place strict limitations on the amounts and on the ways in which drywall can be disposed. An independent consulting firm, hired by a Miami-based builder, has concluded there is little doubt that the drywall manufactured by Defendants is the cause of the corrosion in many residents’ homes.

      25.  One of the managing principles of the independent testing firm stated that: "We have definitely identified that a combination of sulfide gases are the cause of the corrosion of the coils.  The substances we've found are well known to cause that kind of corrosion."

      26.  The firm’s December 2008 results found three sulfide gases: carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide and dimethyl sulfide.

      27.  Hydrogen sulfide=2
      0was found in previous testing that the company conducted on the Defendants’ drywall: “Our previous studied indicate, however, that carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide are gases that can be associated with emissions from Chinese drywall.”

      28.  According to a Knauf statement, the company “is doing its own investigation, and believes the problem drywall came from a specific [gypsum] mine, which also supplied other manufacturers.”  According to Knauf, the company stopped using the questionable mine in 2006.

      29.  According to published reports, however, some independent environmental testing firms and building experts have said the source of the drywall problem is w aste materials from the scrubbers of coal-fired power plants used to make the drywall in China.

      30.  Knauf’s 2009 statement also noted: “Until last year in Florida, no complaint had been raised and no product had been rejected because of odor or impacts to copper in the nine years of [Knauf Tianjin’s] operation.” (Emphasis added).

      31.  Knauf received complaints from builders and contractors about “rotten egg” smells coming from its Chinese-manufactured drywall as far back as 2006.

      32.  In November 2006, in response to reports of odors associated with its drywall, the company hired the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, L.L.C. (CTE H) to conduct an air quality investigation in five homes in Florida.

      33.  Knauf’s 2009 statement also declared
      : “The sulfur compounds detected in testing in homes have been found at no greater levels than air outside homes or in soil, marshes or the ocean.” 

      34.  Knauf’s 2006 testing revealed, however, that its product released detectable, above-background levels of various sulfur containing compounds.  In particular, Knauf’s testing revealed the presence of iron disulfide from its Chinese Drywall as the likely source of the sulfur smells.  Knauf’s testing agency declared: “These data indicate that certain naturally-occurring sulfur-containing compounds can be emitted from the Knauf Tianjin product at concentrations higher than present in background air.” (emphasis added).

      35.  One importer acknowledged in published reports that the defective Chinese Drywall was “well known in the industry” by 2007.

      36.  No member of the Class could have discovered the existence of the defect in the Chinese-manufactured drywall until press reports about the defects were released in December 2008.

      D.        The Need for Medical Monitoring for the Health Effects of Sulfur Emitting Drywall

      37.  Hydrogen sulfide (“H2S”), one of the chemicals found to have been released from drywall, is considered a broad-spectrum poison, meaning that it can poison several different systems in the body, although the nervous system is most af fected.

      38.  The toxicity of H2S is comparable with that of hydrogen cyanide.  It forms a complex bond wit
      h iron in the mitochondrial cytochrome enzymes, thereby blocking oxygen from binding and stopping cellular respiration.

      39.  Exposure to lower concentrations of sulfides can result in eye irritation, a sore throat and cough, nausea, shortness of breath, and fluid in the lungs.

      40.  Long-term, low-level exposure to sulfides has been associated with fatigue, loss of appetite, headaches, irritability, poor memory, and dizziness.  Chronic exposures to low levels of sulfides has also been implicated in increased miscarriage and reproductive health issues.

      41.  Defendants tortiously manufactured, exported, imported, distributed, delivered, supplied, inspected, installed, marketed, and/or sold defective drywall, which was unreasonably dangerous in its normal use in that the drywall caused corrosion and damage to Other Property in Plaintiffs and Class Members’ homes and caused allergic reactions, coughing, sinus and throat infection, eye irritation, breathing hazards, other health concerns, and/or significantly increased the risk of contracting a serious latent disease.

      42.  As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ actions and omissions, Plaintiffs and the Plaintiff Class Members’ homes and bodies have been exposed to Defendants’ drywall and the corrosive and harmful effects of the sulfide gases and other chemicals being released from these proven hazardous substances.

      43.  As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ defective drywall and the corrosive effects of the sulfide gases and other ch
      emicals being released=2 0from these products, the Plaintiffs and the Class Members have suffered, and continue to suffer damages.  These damages include, but are not limited to, costs of inspection as well as the costs and expenses necessary to remedy, replace and remove the defective drywall and Other Property that has been affected.

      44.  As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ defective drywall and the corrosive effects of the sulfide gases and other chemicals being released from these products, Plaintiffs and Class Members have been exposed to above-background levels of sulfides and other harmful chemicals, have been placed at an increased risk of disease, and have need for injunctive relief in the form of emergency notice, environmental testing and monitoring, and medical monitoring.

       

      1.      At all times relevant hereto, Defendant Knauf Gips, each Knauf Entity, (Defendants Knauf Tianjin, Knauf Wuhu, and Knauf Dongguan) acted by and throug h their employees, agents, apparent agents and representatives, who were acting within the course and scope of their employment, agency, apparent agency and representation and in the furtherance of Defendants’ interests.

      2.      Defendant Knauf Gips is the parent corporation of the Knauf Entitities (Defendants Knauf Tianjin, Knauf Wuhu, and Knauf Dongguan).  Knauf Gips individually participated, ratified, approved and directed the improper or illegal acts and omissions described herein.

      Knauf Gips’ Chinese Drywall Distri
      bution

       

      3.      Upon information and belief, tens of millions of square feet of Defendant Knauf Gips defe ctive drywall was used in the construction of Florida homes between 2004 and the present.

      4.      Because of a shortage of construction materials from a booming housing market and massive damage in the United States in 2005 caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, domestic builders, suppliers, and importers began bringing significant stocks of foreign manufactured drywall into the United States.

      5.      At least 550 million pounds of Chinese drywall came into the United States from approximately 2004 to 2006 -- enough to construct 60,000 average-size homes.

      6.      Nearly 60 percent of the Chinese drywall that came into the United States came in through Florida ports. 

      7.      Miami’s port received the largest number of shipments of Chinese drywall.  Public records show that more than 100 million pounds of Chinese drywall were off-loaded in Miami.  Other ports with significant Chinese drywall off-loading include Port Everglades (80 million pounds), Tampa, (50 million pounds), as well as Port Manatee, Pensacola, Port Canaveral, and Jacksonville.

      8.      At least 37 million pounds of Knauf drywall was shipped directly from three sites in China to Florida through Tampa and Port Canaveral. 20Knauf Tianjin sent an additional amount (characterized by company officials as “most=E
      2 of its drywall) into Miami.

      9.      In March 2006, Knauf Dongguang shipped 11 million pounds of Chinese drywall aboard the cargo ship Afra.  This shipment was unloaded in Port Canaveral.

      10.  In the spring of 2006, the cargo ship Great Immensity unloaded one shipment of more than 16 million pounds of Chinese drywall manufactured by Knauf Tianjin -- enough to make approximately 1,700 homes.  The Great Immensity unloaded shipments at more than two dozen ports throughout the United States, including seven in Florida.

      11.  Shipping records show coordination between Knauf’s Chinese subsidiaries, such as sharing the same vessel to transport their product to the U.S.  In April 2006, the Yong An Cheng took three shipments from Knauf Wuhu and a fourth from Knauf Dongguang to the U.S.  All were imported by United States Gypsum Corporation, one of the largest manufacturers of domestic drywall in the U.S. market.

      12.  Knauf Tianjin, one of three Knauf Gips Chinese subsidiaries, admits that it manufactured and imported at least 20% of the imported Chinese drywall that came into the United States.

      13.  Shipping information indicates th at Knauf Tianjin sent at least 38.7 million pounds Chinese drywall to the United States in 2006 and Knauf Wuhu sent at least 28.6 million pounds of Chinese drywall.  Based on U.S. Customs and Census information, these figures would indicate that 78 percent of Chinese drywall imports in 2006 came from these two Knauf plants.

      1
      4.  Many builders in Florida, including Defendant Taylor Woodrow have admitted using Knauf Chinese drywall in communities throughout Florida.

      Knauf Gips’ Subsidiary—Knauf Tianjin

      15.  Upon information and belief, Defendant, Knauf Tianjin, is an international corporation organized under the laws of China20doing business in the State of Florida with its principal place of business located at North Yinhe Bridge, East Jingjin Road, 300400, Tianjin, China.

      16.  Defendant Knauf Tianjin manufactured and distributed defective drywall that is in one or more of Plaintiffs’ homes.

      17.  The Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant Knauf Tianjin pursuant to federal law, Florida’s Long-Arm Statute, and due process because:

      a.       Knauf Tianjin has caused injury to Plaintif fs and Class Members in Florida that arose out of the acts and omissions that occurred outside of the State of Florida during the relevant period of time, namely, the negligent design and manufacturing of an unreasonably dangerous drywall that caused economic damages and potential personal injury damages to Plaintiffs and Class Members as set forth more fully herein in this matter in the State of Florida; and

      b.      Knauf Tianjin has engaged in substantial and not isolated activity within Miami-Dade County by: 1) having shipped tons of defective drywall into the Port of Miami, located in this District; 2) having the defective drywall reach the ultimate consumer, Plaintiffs and Class Member20homeowners who had the defective drywall installed in their homes; and 3) selling and marketing the defective drywall in this District and the State of Florida.

      18.  Knauf Tianjin improperly manufactured, marketed, and distributed the subject defective drywall in the United States.  Defendant also failed to provide adequate warnings regarding the hazardous and defective nature of its defective drywall in the United States.

      Knauf Gips’ Subsidiary—Knauf Wuhu

      19.  Upon information and belief, Defendant, Knauf Wuhu, is an international corporation organized under the laws of China doing business in the State of Florida with its principal place of business located at No. 2 Gang Wan Road, 241009, Wuhu Anhui, China.

      20.  Defendant Knauf20Wuhu manufactured and distributed defective drywall that is in one or more of Plaintiffs’ homes.

      21.  The Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant Knauf Wuhu pursuant to federal law, Florida’s Long-Arm Statute, and due process because:

      a.       Knauf Wuhu has caused injury to Plaintiffs and Class Members in Florida that arose out of the acts and omissions that occurred outside of the State of Florida during the relevant period of time, namely, the negligent design and manufacturing of an unreasonably dangerous drywall that caused economic damages and potential personal injury damages to Plaintiffs and Class Members as set forth more fully herein in this matter in the State of Florida; and

      b.      Knauf Wu
      hu has engaged in substantial and not isolated activity within Miami-Dade County by: 1) having shipped tons of defective drywall into the Port of Miami, located in this District; 2) having the defective drywall reach the ultimate consumer, Plaintiffs and Class Member homeowners who had the defective drywall installed in their homes; and 3) selling and marketing the defective drywall in this District and the State of Florida.
      22.  Knauf Wuhu improperly manufactured, marketed, and later distributed the subject defective drywall in the United States.  Defendant also failed to provide adequate warnings regarding the hazardous and defective nature of its defective drywall in the United States.

      Knauf Gips’ Subsidiary—Knauf Dongguan

      23.  Upon information and belief, Defendant, Knauf Dongguan, is an international corporation organized under the laws of China doing business in the State of Florida with its principal place of business located at No. 2 Xinsha Development Zone, 523147, Guangdong, China.

      24.  Defendant Knauf Dongguan manufactured and distributed defective drywall that is in one or more of Plaintiffs’ homes.

      25.  The Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant Knauf Dongguan pursuant to federal law, Florida’s Long-Arm Statute, and due process because:

      a.       Knauf Dongguan has caused injury to Plaintiffs and Class Members in Florida that arose out of the acts and omissions that occurred outside of the State of Florida during the relevant period of time, namely
      , the negligent design and manufacturing of an unreasonably dangerous drywall that caused economic damages and potential personal injury damages to Plaintiffs and Class Members as set forth more fully herein in this matter in the State of Florida; and

      b.      Knauf Dongguan has engaged in substantial and not isolated activity within Miami-Dade County by: 1) having shipped tons of defective drywall into the Port of Miami, located in this District; 2) having the defective drywall reach the ultimate consumer, Plaintiffs and Class Member homeowners who had the defective drywall installed in their homes; and 3) selling and marketing the defective drywall in this District and the State of Florida.

      26.  Knauf Donngguan improperly=2 0manufactured, marketed, and later distributed the subject defective drywall in the United States.  Defendant also failed to provide adequate warnings regarding the hazardous and defective nature of its defective drywall in the United States.

      Defendant Distributors/Suppliers

       

      Defendant Banner Supply

       

      27.  Defendant Banner Supply is a Florida corporation with its principal place of business located in the Southern District of Florida at 7195 N.W. 30th Street, Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida 33122.

      28.  Defendant Banner Supply exported, imported, distributed, delivered, supplied, inspected, marketed, and/or sold defective drywall in the state of Florida.  Directly or indirectly through agents, affiliates or co-conspirators, Defendant Banner Supply’s acts or omis
      sions related to defective Drywall have injured Plaintiffs and Class Members as alleged herein. 

      Defendant Rothchilt

      29.  Defendant Rothchilt is a foreign corporation doing business in the State of Florida with its principal place of business located at N-5l0 Chia Hsin BId., Annex 96 Chung Shan N. Rd. Sec. 2, Taipei, Taiwan.

      30.  Defendant Rothchilt exported, imported, distributed, delivered, supplied, inspected, marketed, and/or sold defective drywall in the state of Florida.  Directly or indirectly through agents, affiliates or co-conspirators, Defendant Rothchilt’s acts or omissions related to defective Drywall have injured Plaintiffs and Class Members as alleged herein. 

      31.  Defendant Rothchilt manufactured and distributed defective drywall that is in one or more of Plaintiffs’ homes.

      32.  The Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant Rothchilt pursuant to federal law, Florida’s Long-Arm Statute, and due process because:

      a.       Rothchilt has caused injury to Plaintiffs and Class Members in Florida that arose out of the acts and omissions that occurred outside of the State of Florida during the relevant period of time, namely, the negligent design and manufacturing of an unreasonably dangerous drywall that caused economic damages and potential personal injury damages to Plaintiffs and Class Members as set forth more fully herein in this matter in the State of Florida; and

      b.      Rothchilt has engaged in sub stantial and not isolated a
      ctivity within Miami-Dade County by: 1) having shipped tons of defective drywall into the Port of Miami, located in this District; 2) having the defective drywall reach the ultimate consumer, Plaintiffs and Class Member homeowners who had the defective drywall installed in their homes; and 3) selling and marketing the defective drywall in this District and the State of Florida.

      33.  Rothchilt improperly manufactured, marketed, and later distributed the subject defective drywall in the United States.  Defendant also failed to provide adequate warnings regarding the hazardous and defective nature of its defective drywall in the United States.

      Developer/Builder Defendants

      South Kendall Construction

      34.  Defendant South Kendall Construction  is a Florida corporation with its principal place of business located at 888 Kingsman Road, Homestead, Florida.   

      35.  Defendant South Kendall Construction installed defective drywall in one or more of Plaintiffs’ homes located in the State of Florida.  Defendant South Kendall Construction’s acts or omissions directly or indirectly through its agents, employees, or affiliates, in the installation of defective drywall have injured Plaintiffs and Class Members as alleged herein. 

      Taylor Woodrow

      36.  Defendant Taylor Woodrow is a Florida corporation with its principal place of business located at 8430 Enterprise Circle, Ste. 100, Bradenton, Florida. 

      37.  Defendant Taylor Woodrow, installed defective drywall in one or more of Plaintiffs’
      homes located in the State of Florida.  Defendant Taylor Woodrow acts or omissions directly or indirectly through its agents, employees, or affiliates, in the installation of defective drywall have injured Plaintiffs and Class Members as alleged herein. 

      GENERAL ALLEGATIONS

      A.        Drywall Background

      38.  Drywall is also commonly known as gypsum board, wallboard, plasterboard, rock lath, sheetrock, gyproc, or simply board.

      39.  A drywall panel is made of a paper liner wrapped around an inner core made primarily from hardened gypsum plaster.

      40.  Drywall is typically available in 4 ft (1219 mm) wide sheets of various lengths. Newly formed sheets are cut from a belt, the result of a continuous manufacturing process.
      41.  The most commonly used drywall is one-half-inch thick but can range from one quarter (6.35 mm) to one inch (25.4 mm) thick.

      42.  The core material of drywall, gypsum, is available in two forms, pure gypsum, which is naturally occurring, and synthetic gypsum, which is manmade. 

      43.  Pure gypsum is a white to transparent mineral, but sometimes impurities color it grey, brown, or pink.

      44.  Synthetic gypsum is generally manufactured with byproducts of coal-fired powerplants.

      45 .  Coal combustion byproducts (“CCBs” or “CCPs”) are the inorganic residues that remain after pulverized coal is burned. 

      46.  The primary CCBs used in drywall are byproducts resulting from a utility’s attempts
      to remove sulfur from flue gases.

      47.  In order to meet emission standards, many utilities have installed flue-gas-desulfurization (FGD) equipment.  Flue gas desulfurization is a chemical process to remove sulfur oxides from the flue gas at coal-burning powerplants.

      48.  Various FGD methods have been developed that chemically combine the sulfur gases released in coal combustion by reacting them with a sorbent, such as limestone or lime.

      49.  As the flue gas comes in contact with the slurry of calcium salts, sulfur dioxide reacts with the calcium to form hydrous calcium sulfate, otherwise known as gypsum.

      B.        How Drywall Is Created

      50.  In order to form drywall, gypsum must be “calcined,” or partially dehydrated by heating.

      51.  When gypsum is heated, it loses about three quarters of its water and becomes hemihydrate gypsum which is soft and can be easily ground to a powder called hemihydrate gypsum plaster.

      52.  The gypsum powder is then mixed with water to form a paste or slurry.

      53.  While the hemihydrate gypsum plaster is in slurry form, it is poured between two paper layers to make drywall. 

      54.  Drywall is formed by sandwiching a core of wet gypsum between two sheets of heavy paper or fiberglass mats. When the core sets and is dried in a large drying chamber, the “sandwich” becomes rigid and strong enough for use as a building material.

      55.  The paste or slurry is typically mixed wi
      th fiber (usually paper and/or fiberglass), plasticizer, foaming agent, potash as an accelerator, starch or other chelate as a retarder, various additives that increase mildew and fire resistance (fiberglass or vermiculite), and water.
      =0 A
      56.  Drywall may consist of two other materials with sulfur content: alkyl ethoxy sulfates as foaming agents and lignin or napthalene sulfonates as dispersing agents.

      C.        The Defective Drywall Emits Noxious and Corrosive Levels of Sulfur

      57.  Upon information and belief, Defendants’ drywall contained naturally mined gypsum and synthetic gypsum manufactured from CCBs.

      58.  When gypsum, mined or synthetic, is subjected to certain environmental conditions, the product breaks down into sulfate ions which in turn can be chemically transformed into hydrogen sulfide gas and other sulfide ga ses. 

      59.  The problem of sulfide emissions from drywall is well-understood in the drywall industry and has been studied for many years.

      60.  The level of sulfides emitted from drywall may depend, in part, on contamination of the drywall with sulfur materials or the use of contaminated gypsum materials.

      61.  Sulfide emissions from drywall have been a particular problem in landfills and, as such, many landfills refuse to accept drywall or place strict limitations on the amounts and on the ways in which drywall can be disposed. An independent consulting firm, hired by a Miami-based builder, has concluded there is little doubt that the drywall=2
      0manufactured by Defendants is the cause of the corrosion in many residents’ homes.

      62.  One of the managing principles of the independent testing firm stated that: "We have definitely identified that a combination of sulfide gases are the cause of the corrosion of the coils.  The substances we've found are well known to cause that kind of corrosion."

      63.  The firm’s December 2008 results found three sulfide gases: carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide and dimethyl sulfide.

      64.  Hydrogen sulfide was found in previous testing that the company conducted on the Defendants’ drywall: “Our previous studied indicate, however, that carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide are gases that can be associated with emissions from Chinese drywall.”

      65.  According to a Knauf statement, the company “is doing its own investigation, and believes the problem drywall came from a specific [gypsum] mine, which also supplied other manufacturers.”  According to Knauf, the company stopped using the questionable mine in 2006.

      66.  According to published reports, however, some independent environmental testing firms and building experts have said the source of the drywall problem is waste materials from the scrubbers of coal-fired power plants used to make the drywall in China.

      67.  Knauf’s 2009 statement also noted: “Until last year in Florida, no complaint had been raised and no product had been rejected because of odor or impacts to copper in the nine=2
      0years of [Knauf Tianjin’s] operation.” (Emphasis added).

      68.  Knauf received complaints from builders and contractors about “rotten egg” smells coming from its Chinese-manufactured drywall as far back as 2006.

      69.  In November 2006, in response to reports of odors associated with its drywall, the company hired the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, L.L.C. (CTEH) to conduct an air quality investigation in five homes in Florida.

      70.  Knauf’s 2009 statement also declared: “The sulfur compounds detected in testing in homes have been found at no greater levels than air outside homes or in soil, marshes or the ocean.” 

      71.  Knauf’s 2006 testing revealed, however, that its product released detectable, above-background levels of various sulfur containing compounds.  In particular, Knauf’s testing revealed the presence of iron disulfide from its Chinese Drywall as the likely source of the sulfur smells.  Knauf’s testing agency declared: “These data indicate that certain naturally-occurring sulfur-containing compounds can be emitted from the Knauf Tianjin product at concentrations higher than present in background air.” (emphasis added).

      72.  One importer acknowledged in published reports that the defective Chinese Drywall was “well known in the industry” by 2007.

      73.  No member of the Class could have discovered the existence of the defect in the Chinese-manufactured drywall until press reports about the defects were
      released in December 2008.

      D.        The Need for Medical Monitoring for the Health Effects of Sulfur Emitting Drywall

      74.  Hydrogen sulfide (“H2S”), one of the chemicals found to have been released from drywall, is considered a broad-spectrum poison, meaning that it can poison several different systems in the body, although the nervous system is most affected.

      75.  The toxicity of H2S is comparable with that of hydrogen cyanide.  It forms a complex bond with iron in the mitochondrial cytochrome enzymes, thereby blocking oxygen from binding and stopping cellular respiration.

      76.  Exposure to lower concentrations of sulfides can result in eye irritation, a sore throat and cough, nausea, shortness of breath, and fluid in the lungs.

      77.  Long-term, low-level exposure to sulfides has been associated with fatigue, loss of appetite, headaches, irritability, poor memory, and dizziness.  Chronic exposures to low levels of sulfides has also been implicated in increased miscarriage and reproductive health issues.

      78.  Defendants tortiously manufactured, exported, imported, distributed, delivered, supplied, inspected, installed, marketed, and/or sold defective drywall, which was unreasonably dangerous in its normal use in that the drywall caused corrosion and damage to Other Property in Plaintiffs and Class Members’ homes and caused allergic reactions, coughing, sinus and throat infection, eye irritation, breathing hazards, other health concerns, and/or significantly increased the ris
      k of contracting a serious latent disease.

      79.  As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ actions and omissions, Plaintiffs and the Plaintiff Class Members’20homes and bodies have been exposed to Defendants’ drywall and the corrosive and harmful effects of the sulfide gases and other chemicals being released from these proven hazardous substances.

      80.  As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ defective drywall and the corrosive effects of the sulfide gases and other chemicals being released from these products, the Plaintiffs and the Class Members have suffered, and continue to suffer damages.  These damages include, but are not limited to, costs of inspection as well as the costs and expenses necessary to remedy, replace and remove the defective drywall and Other Property that has been affected.

      81.  As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ defective drywall and the corrosive effects of the sulfide gases and other chemicals being released from these products, Plaintiffs and Class Members have been exposed to above-background levels of sulfides and other harmful chemicals, have been placed at an increased risk of disease, and have need for injunctive relief in the form of emerg ency notice, environmental testing and monitoring, and medical monitoring.


       






      22.  Knauf Wuhu improperly manufactured, marketed, and later distributed the subject defective drywall in the United States.  Defendant also failed to provide adequate warnings regarding th
      e hazardous and defective nature of its defective drywall in the United States.

      Knauf Gips’ Subsidiary—Knauf Dongguan

      23.  Upon information and belief, Defendant, Knauf Dongguan, is an international corporation organized under the laws of China doing business in the State of Florida with its principal place of business located at No. 2 Xinsha Development Zone, 523147, Guangdong, China.

      24.  Defendant Knauf Dongguan manufactured and distributed defective drywall that is in one or more of Plaintiffs’ homes.

      25.  The Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant Knauf Dongguan pursuant to federal law, Florida’s Long-Arm Statute, and due process because:

      a.       Knauf Dongguan has caused injury to Plaintiffs and Class Members in Florida that arose out of the acts and omissions that occurred outside of the State of Florida during the relevant period of time, namely, the negligent design and manufacturing of an unreasonably dangerous drywall that caused economic damages and potential personal injury damages to Plaintiffs and Class Members as set forth more fully herein in this matter in the State of Florida; and

      b.      Knauf Dongguan has engaged in substantial and not isolated activity within Miami-Dade County by: 1) having shipped tons of defective drywall into the Port of Miami, located in this District; 2) having the defective drywall reach the ultimate consumer, Plaintiffs and Class Member homeowners who had the defective drywall installed in their hom
      es; and 3) selling and marketing the defective drywall in this District and the State of Florida.

      26.  Knauf Donngguan improperly=2 0manufactured, marketed, and later distributed the subject defective drywall in the United States.  Defendant also failed to provide adequate warnings regarding the hazardous and defective nature of its defective drywall in the United States.

      Defendant Distributors/Suppliers

       

      Defendant Banner Supply

       

      27.  Defendant Banner Supply is a Florida corporation with its principal place of business located in the Southern District of Florida at 7195 N.W. 30th Street, Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida 33122.

      28.  Defendant Banner Supply exported, imported, distributed, delivered, supplied, inspected, marketed, and/or sold defective drywall in the state of Florida.  Directly or indirectly through agents, affiliates or co-conspirators, Defendant Banner Supply’s acts or omissions related to defective Drywall have injured Plaintiffs and Class Members as alleged herein. 

      Defendant Rothchilt

      29.  Defendant Rothchilt is a foreign corporation doing business in the State of Florida with its principal place of business located at N-5l0 Chia Hsin BId., Annex 96 Chung Shan N. Rd. Sec. 2, Taipei, Taiwan.

      30.  Defendant Rothchilt exported, imported, distributed, delivered, supplied, inspected, marketed, and/or sold defective drywall in the state of Florida.  Directly or indirectly through agents, affiliates or co-conspirators, Defendant Rothchilt’s acts or omissions related to d
      efective Drywall have injured Plaintiffs and Class Members as alleged herein. 

      31.  Defendant Rothchilt manufactured and distributed defective drywall that is in one or more of Plaintiffs’ homes.

      32.  The Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant Rothchilt pursuant to federal law, Florida’s Long-Arm Statute, and due process because:

      a.       Rothchilt has caused injury to Plaintiffs and Class Members in Florida that arose out of the acts and omissions that occurred outside of the State of Florida during the relevant period of time, namely, the negligent design and manufacturing of an unreasonably dangerous drywall that caused economic damages and potential personal injury damages to Plaintiffs and Class Members as set forth more fully herein in this matter in the State of Florida; and

      b.      Rothchilt has engaged in sub stantial and not isolated activity within Miami-Dade County by: 1) having shipped tons of defective drywall into the Port of Miami, located in this District; 2) having the defective drywall reach the ultimate consumer, Plaintiffs and Class Member homeowners who had the defective drywall installed in their homes; and 3) selling and marketing the defective drywall in this District and the State of Florida.

      33.  Rothchilt improperly manufactured, marketed, and later distributed the subject defective drywall in the United States.  Defendant also failed to provide adequate warnings regarding the hazardous and defective nature of its defective20drywall in the United States.

      Developer/Builder Defendants

      South Kendall Construction

      34.  Defendant South Kendall Construction  is a Florida corporation with its principal place of business located at 888 Kingsman Road, Homestead, Florida.   

      35.  Defendant South Kendall Construction installed defective drywall in one or more of Plaintiffs’ homes located in the State of Florida.  Defendant South Kendall Construction’s acts or omissions directly or indirectly through its agents, employees, or affiliates, in the installation of defective drywall have injured Plaintiffs and Class Members as alleged herein. 

      Taylor Woodrow

      36.  Defendant Taylor Woodrow is a Florida corporation with its principal place of business located at 8430 Enterprise Circle, Ste. 100, Bradenton, Florida. 

      37.  Defendant Taylor Woodrow, installed defective drywall in one or more of Plaintiffs’ homes located in the State of Florida.  Defendant Taylor Woodrow acts or omissions directly or indirectly through its agents, employees, or affiliates, in the installation of defective drywall have injured Plaintiffs and Class Members as alleged herein. 

      GENERAL ALLEGATIONS

      A.        Drywall Background

      38.  Drywall is also commonly known as gypsum board, wallboard, plasterboard, rock lath, sheetrock, gyproc, or simply board.

      39.  A drywall panel is made of a paper liner wrapped around an inner core made primarily from hardened gypsum plaster.

      40.  Drywall is typica
      lly available in 4 ft (1219 mm) wide sheets of various lengths. Newly formed sheets are cut from a belt, the result of a continuous manufacturing process.
      41.  The most commonly used drywall is one-half-inch thick but can range from one quarter (6.35 mm) to one inch (25.4 mm) thick.

      42.  The core material of drywall, gypsum, is available in two forms, pure gypsum, which is naturally occurring, and synthetic gypsum, which is manmade. 

      43.  Pure gypsum is a white to transparent mineral, but sometimes impurities color it grey, brown, or pink.

      44.  Synthetic gypsum is generally manufactured with byproducts of coal-fired powerplants.

      45 .  Coal combustion byproducts (“CCBs” or “CCPs”) are the inorganic residues that remain after pulverized coal is burned. 

      46.  The primary CCBs used in drywall are byproducts resulting from a utility’s attempts to remove sulfur from flue gases.

      47.  In order to meet emission standards, many utilities have installed flue-gas-desulfurization (FGD) equipment.  Flue gas desulfurization is a chemical process to remove sulfur oxides from the flue gas at coal-burning powerplants.

      48.  Various FGD methods have been developed that chemically combine the sulfur gases released in coal combustion by reacting them with a sorbent, such as limestone or lime.

      49.  As the flue gas comes in contact with the slurry of calcium salts, sulfur dioxide reacts with the calcium to form hydrous calcium sulfate, otherwise known20as gypsum.

      B.        How Drywall Is Created

      50.  In order to form drywall, gypsum must be “calcined,” or partially dehydrated by heating.

      51.  When gypsum is heated, it loses about three quarters of its water and becomes hemihydrate gypsum which is soft and can be easily ground to a powder called hemihydrate gypsum plaster.

      52.  The gypsum powder is then mixed with water to form a paste or slurry.

      53.  While the hemihydrate gypsum plaster is in slurry form, it is poured between two paper layers to make drywall. 

      54.  Drywall is formed by sandwiching a core of wet gypsum between two sheets of heavy paper or fiberglass mats. When the core sets and is dried in a large drying chamber, the “sandwich” becomes rigid and strong enough for use as a building material.

      55.  The paste or slurry is typically mixed with fiber (usually paper and/or fiberglass), plasticizer, foaming agent, potash as an accelerator, starch or other chelate as a retarder, various additives that increase mildew and fire resistance (fiberglass or vermiculite), and water.
      =0 A
      56.  Drywall may consist of two other materials with sulfur content: alkyl ethoxy sulfates as foaming agents and lignin or napthalene sulfonates as dispersing agents.

      C.        The Defective Drywall Emits Noxious and Corrosive Levels of Sulfur

      57.  Upon information and belief, Defendants’ drywall contained naturally mined gypsum and syntheti
      c gypsum manufactured from CCBs.

      58.  When gypsum, mined or synthetic, is subjected to certain environmental conditions, the product breaks down into sulfate ions which in turn can be chemically transformed into hydrogen sulfide gas and other sulfide ga ses. 

      59.  The problem of sulfide emissions from drywall is well-understood in the drywall industry and has been studied for many years.

      60.  The level of sulfides emitted from drywall may depend, in part, on contamination of the drywall with sulfur materials or the use of contaminated gypsum materials.

      61.  Sulfide emissions from drywall have been a particular problem in landfills and, as such, many landfills refuse to accept drywall or place strict limitations on the amounts and on the ways in which drywall can be disposed. An independent consulting firm, hired by a Miami-based builder, has concluded there is little doubt that the drywall manufactured by Defendants is the cause of the corrosion in many residents’ homes.

      62.  One of the managing principles of the independent testing firm stated that: "We have definitely identified that a combination of sulfide gases are the cause of the corrosion of the coils.  The substances we've found are well known to cause that kind of corrosion."

      63.  The firm’s December 2008 results found three sulfide gases: carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide and dimethyl sulfide.

      64.  Hydrogen sulfide was found in previous testing that the company conducted on the Defendants’ drywall:=2
      0“Our previous studied indicate, however, that carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide are gases that can be associated with emissions from Chinese drywall.”

      65.  According to a Knauf statement, the company “is doing its own investigation, and believes the problem drywall came from a specific [gypsum] mine, which also supplied other manufacturers.”  According to Knauf, the company stopped using the questionable mine in 2006.

      66.  According to published reports, however, some independent environmental testing firms and building experts have said the source of the drywall problem is waste materials from the scrubbers of coal-fired power plants used to make the drywall in China.

      67.  Knauf’s 2009 statement also noted: “Until last year in Florida, no complaint had been raised and no product had been rejected because of odor or impacts to copper in the nine years of [Knauf Tianjin’s] operation.” (Emphasis added).

      68.  Knauf received complaints from builders and contractors about “rotten egg” smells coming from its Chinese-manufactured drywall as far back as 2006.

      69.  In November 2006, in response to reports of odors associated with its drywall, the company hired the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, L.L.C. (CTEH) to conduct an air quality investigation in five homes in Florida.

      70.  Knauf’s 2009 statement also declared: “The sulfur compounds detected in testing in homes have been found at no greater leve
      ls than air outside homes or in soil, marshes or the ocean.” 

      71.  Knauf’s 2006 testing revealed, however, that its product released detectable, above-background levels of various sulfur containing compounds.  In particular, Knauf’s testing revealed the presence of iron disulfide from its Chinese Drywall as the likely source of the sulfur smells.  Knauf’s testing agency declared: “These data indicate that certain naturally-occurring sulfur-containing compounds can be emitted from the Knauf Tianjin product at concentrations higher than present in background air.” (emphasis added).

      72.  One importer acknowledged in published reports that the defective Chinese Drywall was “well known in the industry” by 2007.

      73.  No member of the Class could have discovered the existence of the defect in the Chinese-manufactured drywall until press reports about the defects were released in December 2008.

      D.        The Need for Medical Monitoring for the Health Effects of Sulfur Emitting Drywall

      74.  Hydrogen sulfide (“H2S”), one of the chemicals found to have been released from drywall, is considered a broad-spectrum poison, meaning that it can poison several different systems in the body, although the nervous system is most affected.

      75.  The toxicity of H2S is comparable with that of hydrogen cyanide.  It forms a complex bond with iron in the mitochondrial cytochrome enzymes, thereby blocking oxygen from binding and stopping ce
      llular respiration.

      76.  Exposure to lower concentrations of sulfides can result in eye irritation, a sore throat and cough, nausea, shortness of breath, and fluid in the lungs.

      77.  Long-term, low-level exposure to sulfides has been associated with fatigue, loss of appetite, headaches, irritability, poor memory, and dizziness.  Chronic exposures to low levels of sulfides has also been implicated in increased miscarriage and reproductive health issues.

      78.  Defendants tortiously manufactured, exported, imported, distributed, delivered, supplied, inspected, installed, marketed, and/or sold defective drywall, which was unreasonably dangerous in its normal use in that the drywall caused corrosion and damage to Other Property in Plaintiffs and Class Members’ homes and caused allergic reactions, coughing, sinus and throat infection, eye irritation, breathing hazards, other health concerns, and/or significantly increased the risk of contracting a serious latent disease.

      79.  As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ actions and omissions, Plaintiffs and the Plaintiff Class Members’20homes and bodies have been exposed to Defendants’ drywall and the corrosive and harmful effects of the sulfide gases and other chemicals being released from these proven hazardous substances.

      80.  As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ defective drywall and the corrosive effects of the sulfide gases and other chemicals being released from these products, the Plaintiffs and the Class Members have suffered, and=2
      0continue to suffer damages.  These damages include, but are not limited to, costs of inspection as well as the costs and expenses necessary to remedy, replace and remove the defective drywall and Other Property that has been affected.

      81.  As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ defective drywall and the corrosive effects of the sulfide gases and other chemicals being released from these products, Plaintiffs and Class Members have been exposed to above-background levels of sulfides and other harmful chemicals, have been placed at an increased risk of disease, and have need for injunctive relief in the form of emerg ency notice, environmental testing and monitoring, and medical monitoring.


       








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