This another article about contaminated American drywall that’s been published in Herald-Tribune.
Published: Friday, July 12, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, July 12, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.
NORTH PORT – A North Port couple is suing the builder and wallboard suppliers of their home, claiming the American-made drywall in it has made them sick and their house uninhabitable.
Charles A. Hummer and Yuliya Nemanis-Hummer are seeking roughly $50 million in damages from two lawsuits against builder Adams Homes of Northwest Florida Inc., and drywall maker USG Corp.
Problems with Chinese drywall in hundreds of Florida homes have resulted in multimillion-dollar settlements for homeowners from builders and manufacturers. But in Hummer’s case, the allegedly defective drywall was made domestically.
Charles Hummer, a disabled Vietnam War veteran who lives in the 2600 block of Jaylene Road, said he fought with the builder and suppliers for four years over the drywall before filing the lawsuits this week in Sarasota Circuit Court.
He and his wife are acting as their own attorneys in the case, because lawyers are no longer taking on defective drywall litigation cases.
As a result of their health issues, his wife has moved to Europe — where she is from originally — to live with family. He is living on the home’s walled-in back porch, after making repeated visits over the past four years to hospitals for various ailments.
“I was sicker than a dog,” Hummer said Friday.
A spokesman for Chicago-based USG said the lawsuit “has no validity.”
“We visited Mr. Hummer’s home and saw no visual evidence of corrosive or defective drywall in the home,” said Robert E. Williams, a USG spokesman.
“We have tested USG’s wallboard, the Consumer Products Safety Commission has tested USG’s wallboard, and both of those testing initiatives verified that our wallboard does not have any corrosive properties that you would associate with the Chinese wallboard that has had a problem in Florida,” he added.
But Hummer, 61, insists the American-made drywall has problems similar to the Chinese drywall variety, which has been blamed for noxious odors and for corroding wiring.
Specifically, Hummer says the domestic product creates a sulfur odor, or a “sweet, sickly, chemical-metallic smell.”
“The chemical compounds cause significant and serious health issues, including respiratory problems, sinus infections, eye irritations, vision problems, kidney and heart issues, and the list goes on,” he said in the lawsuits.
Those same chemical compounds have also damaged his home’s copper piping, refrigerator coils, air conditioning coils and electrical wiring, Hummer noted.
The couple purchased the 3,100-square-foot house, built in 2006, in 2007 for $193,000. The value of the house has since been “zeroed out” by the county property appraiser because of the drywall issues.
The Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s website list the value at $3,000 — the amount it maintains the land under the home is worth.
Hummer is seeking $25 million in damages in one lawsuit against USG, and a similar amount in a second suit against Adams Homes in Gulf Breeze, drywall supplier L&W Supply Corp. in Chicago, and drywall installer Nu Way Drywall LLC, in Bradenton.
Link to the article: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20130712/ARTICLE/130719877/0/search?p=2&tc=pg
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