Week Adjourned: 10.9.09

Villa Lago at Renaissance Commons...home sweet chinese drywall home?Top Class Actions

Giving new meaning to Renaissance architecture? Hundreds more people in Florida may be onboard with a new Chinese Drywall class action filed this week. The suit names Coastal Condominiums and Precision Drywall as defendants, and alleges that the toxic drywall used in the construction of Renaissance Commons (at right) is emitting toxic gases into people’s homes. 

During the Florida building boom hundreds of millions of pounds of drywall was shipped to ports around the United States from China. While 25 states have reported issues, problems were first noted in Florida, likely because the defective drywall seems to react strongly in humid conditions. 

Apparently, some 600 Floridians in 30 counties have reported symptoms such as irritated eyes, bloody noses, rashes and insomnia. This certainly puts a new twist on that old expression— ‘there’s no place like home…’

Mario Aliano is one pissed off beer drinker (bad pun, I know). In fact he’s so angry he filed a class action lawsuit against Miller Coors. What’s his beef? Defective prize codes issued in the  “Coors Light Silver Ticket Sweepstakes.”  

The backstory is that Coors launched the sweepstakes August 1, 2009 in an effort to increase beer sales. The prizes on offer include NFL tickets and gift certificates. The prize codes were placed inside the beer cartons, and purchasers were supposed to find them and enter them via the sweepstakes Web site or text message.

Mario, who has filed the suit on behalf of hundreds of fellow NFL and beer fans, claims to have purchased a carton of Coors Light just because of the promotion, which was the purpose of the whole marketing ploy in the first place. Trouble is, Coors didn’t come through on their end. When Mario entered his prize code on the website and sent it in by text message he was informed that the code was invalid.  The suit alleges that Molson Coors Brewing, MillerCoors and Miller Brewing deliberately issued false prize codes. Ummm, this doesn’t sound like good publicity to me.

Top Settlements

$1.2 million asbestos mesothelioma settlement in Texas. A widow, whose husband died of asbestos mesothelioma, was recently awarded $1.2 million as settlement of a lawsuit she and her husband brought against his former employer. Danny Puckett worked for Dowell Company as a member of the cement crew between 1975 and 1985. From 1975 to 1980 he was lethally exposed to asbestos, and that led to the diagnosis of mesothelioma. 

The verdict represents the first known asbestos drilling mud additive verdict in Texas.  

And This Just In…

Not-so-smooth operator? If you live in California you may be interested to know that Yogurtland is facing a class action over unsanitary business practices—read 1) emptying their product from the soft-serve machines and reusing old product the next morning or (2) leaving product in the soft-serve machines overnight for reuse the next day. Yuk! 

The suit also alleges that their frozen yogurt doesn’t meet manufacturing standards for frozen yogurt. So, if you’ve been duped, or been sick after partaking in what you thought was a healthy treat (isn’t that an oxymoron?)—you may want to check this one out.

That’s it for this week! See you at the bar…

26 thoughts on “Week Adjourned: 10.9.09”

  1. There is a tragic flaw in this story and, based upon viewing some similar internet garbage spewing sites, it seems it may end up hurting homeowners in this area. The picture shown is that of the community Firenze, the townhome section of Renaissance commons. IT HAS NOT BEEN AFFECTED BY THE CHINESE DRYWALL DEBACLE! The condo "Villa Lago" is what has been affected, and so far i think it has been found in only 5 of the units. Dear writer. If you are going to post a story like this and "pretend" to be a journalist, do us a solid and research your story first.

    1. Hi Michael, Thank you for pointing out that I had inadvertantly posted the image for the Firenze community within Renaissance Commons of Boynton Beach, FL, and not the Villa Lago community. I’ve since included the appropriate iamge. You mention you think there have only been 5 units that have been affected with Chinese drywall problems. I find this interesting as, from a supply chain perspective, considering there are 328 units in Villa Lago, one would think that the pallets of drywall coming off the delivery trucks were probably sizable shipments and from the same primary supplier(s)–and, therefore, probably used in more than 5 units. Also, since you seem to have the inside track–can you share with us which units they might be–Amalfi, Bellini, Cipriani or Danelli? Just curious.
      While those “internet garbage spewing sites” (by the way, you forgot the hyphen when you wrote that so don’t blame me for lousy grammatical skills) do report the areas affected by the Chinese drywall debacle, most do quote reputable sources as agreeing that more–most likely many more–affected homes are to come. I hope not for everyone’s sake, but that is the going line.
      You also mention that these reports, including the one here at LawyersandSettlements.com, “may end up hurting homeowners in this area”. While I believe in the power of the pen (excuse me, keyboard), you are giving me too much power. When I did my initial research on Renaissance Commons, I found quite a number of properties on the market as short sales. If you’re looking to point the finger at someone or something for potentially hurting homeowners, start with the economic fallout (did you happen to read about that?–it’s been in the news). Then you can look to the imported drywall. So mea culpa on posting a “representative” image of the units available within Renaissance Commons vs. the actual building where the tainted drywall resides. One last thing, you wrote “do us a solid and research your story first”–I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with that colloquialism; what is “do us a solid”? Thanks Michael!

  2. Hello, I live in villa lago in Renaissance commons and would like to find more information on this. My wife and I just got back after a week out and found that the news crews were here talking about Chinese drywall, so I googled it and your site came up. Is there any way to have someone check our unit, or what should we do next? Thanks

    1. Hi Martyn,
      I've sent you an email (check your spam file just in case!) with some information from the CDC on resources that can assist you in getting your home checked, along with information about next steps and your legal options should you require further help in that regard. I hope you find this information helpful, but most importantly, I hope you do not find any presence of Chinese drywall in your home. Good luck with everything and please let us know how you make out!

  3. Hi. Can you please send me the information to on getting your home checked? I live in a townhouse, but ever since i moved in I have had constant health issues, problems sleeping well, had sinus surgery because my allergies and sinuses were so bad. I just want to have it check so I know it was or wasnt anything that might of influenced it.

    1. Hi Ty, Thanks for your question. I'll try to help you out a bit, but what state are you in? There are services out there but they vary by state–so let me know and I can try to get back to you with some appropriate Chinese drywall resources for your location. -Abi

    1. Hi Krista, I've sent you an email with the information regarding Chinese drywall. Check your email–and also your spam folder just in case! Good luck and please let us know how you make out.

  4. I also live in Villa Lago, I had to get a $300 air purifier when I first moved in because there's an odor that won't go away. Can I please have more info on this case. I just found out about this today.

    1. Hi Chris, Thanks for your comment. Sounds like something you might want to get checked out further–particularly if the odor is not going away. That's one of the indicators of a Chinese drywall problem–which you may or may not have–but it's prudent to get it assessed. I'll send you the information I've sent out to some of our other readers via email–check your spam folder, too, just in case. Good luck with it, and let us know how you make out.

  5. I just found out about this today. I live in Villa Lago and have a pregnant wife. I will lose my mind if this can effect her pregnancy and I really need some answers quickly. Is there any way that you can send some information to me so I can take the next course of action needed. Thank you!!!!!

    1. Hi Chuck, Thank you for your comment and I'll send you some information via email–check your spam folder just in case. I certainly understand your concern–and I hope you're able to get your home checked even if it's only for peace of mind. Typically, homeowners are first aware of a Chinese drywall problem by the smell–reportedly a rotten egg type of smell–so that's something to be mindful of. I wish you all the best, and truly hope you do not have any defective drywall issues–please let us know how you make out, and best wishes to you and your wife as you prepare to welcome your new baby. -Abi

  6. Hi, this is crazy.. I just viewed so many townhomes this weekend at Renaissance commons and was seriously thinking about putting in an offer on a unit. But I been hearing about this Chinese drywall issues all around boynton beach. So I just reached home and started to google info on any issues in Renaissance commons and now I see this. Can someone plz email me more info. This is a shame. It's such a nice place.

    1. Hi Nick, Thanks for your comment. As you’re not currently living in Renaissance, or more specifically Villa Lago, where there had been initial reports of possible Chinese drywall, your best bet is probably to review the information provided at the Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov) Chinese Drywall page (go to the site and input “chinese drywall” in the site search–that will lead you to the information, and you can then link to information specifically about the issue in Florida); Additionally, bookmark the LawyersAndSettlements.com site as we continue to monitor the Chinese drywall situation across the country, and of course, in Florida. Finally, I’d suggest talking with some of the homeowners there–nothing beats a neighborly chat or two to get a sense of what’s going on. Let us know how you make out–and best wishes on your house hunt. – Abi

  7. Hi there,

    My wife and I live in Villa Lago and just found out about this lawsuit. Can you send us the information that was sent to Martyn regarding having our home checked? I’m also interested in speaking with the law firm that is involved in this suit. Would you happen to have their information? I’m also an attorney and would like to know more about our legal options moving forward. Thanks very much!

    1. Hi David, Thank you for your comment and question. I can certainly have the information on Chinese drywall that was sent to Martyn forwarded to you. We’ll shoot you an email (be sure to check your spam folder just in case). Good luck–I truly hope you do not find yourselves with a presence of defective drywall… -Abi

  8. What are you supposed to do if you are just was renting from the Developer and not an actual home owner… what are your rights as a renter and not a home owner?

    1. Hi Confused, Good question–and thanks for asking it as many readers I’m sure wonder the same thing about the whole Chinese drywall debacle. The only real information I’ve seen with regard to renting vs. owning a home with defective drywall is from an article from the St. Petersburg Times which quoted a local attorney there as stating: “”Under Florida law, a tenant can terminate their lease if the leased premises contains defects.” Florida statute 83.51(1) says, “a tenant has the right to provide a landlord with a five day cure opportunity or the tenant may withhold rent until the defect is cured or move out of the property.”” Beyond that, if your home–as a renter–has been affected by Chinese drywall, you may wish to submit the information about your situation to a lawyer who specializes in Chinese drywall litigation. You can do so here, at this link, and your case will be reviewed. I hope this helps, -Abi

  9. Hello,

    I am a homeowner in Villa Lago and would like to find out more about this drywall problem. Have been approached re class action suit. Can you send me the info you have sent to Martyn.

    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Mari, I'll have the information sent to the email address you've provided (check your spam folder just in case!). The first Chinese Drywall lawsuits are expected to go to trial in January. Keep us posted on how things are going and we wish you all the best; -Abi

  10. Hello,

    I am currently renting from an owner at Villa Lago and have recently had my unit inspected. After 2 hours and 10 holes being drilled and cut in my walls I was not able to get a straight answer from the "inspector" as to whether or not my unit actually has the bad drywall. Based on information on the news and on the net, it is my personal opinion that my unit does contain the Chinese drywall. (Our copper in the AC unit and refrigerator are black, among other things) The "inspector" while nice, seemed overworked and more interested in starting his holiday than he was in finding the "stamp" that would give more conclusive evidence that our unit has the tainted drywall. I need ANSWERS. I have been contacted by my landlord, a law firm, as well as an inspection agency and haven't been given any clear details as to what's REALLY going on. Who can I contact or what do I need to do as a renter to get to he bottom of this situation ASAP? Thanks in advance for your help.

    1. Hi Trill, Thank you for your comment–sounds like you may well have evidence of a Chinese drywall situation, and you've apparently gone through the right channels to try to have it inspected. We've had other readers contact us regarding how renters are affected by defective drywall–obviously the issue will be handled differently depending on whether you own your home or are renting. This is the info I had shared with another reader about renting:
      This is from an article from the St. Petersburg Times which quoted a local attorney there as stating: “”Under Florida law, a tenant can terminate their lease if the leased premises contains defects.” Florida statute 83.51(1) says, “a tenant has the right to provide a landlord with a five day cure opportunity or the tenant may withhold rent until the defect is cured or move out of the property.”"
      Beyond that, if your home–as a renter–has been affected by Chinese drywall, you may wish to submit the information about your situation to a lawyer who specializes in Chinese drywall litigation. You can do so here, at this link, and your case will be reviewed. I hope this helps, -Abi

  11. My wife and I moved into Villa Lago in late '07 just as the unit was being finished(actually the plumbing wasn't even finished the day we moved in). After a month or two(need to check with my doctor)I was diagnosed with asthma, I ran track, cross country, and was a big swimmer, needless to say i have never had a breathing problem in my life. After hearing about the chinese today from my wife, who's hairdresser told her about the contamination in the building, alarms started going off in my head. What can I do and does anyone no of an attorney (thats worth a damn)??

    1. Hi Nick, I'm sorry to hear about the problems you've been experiencing in your new home. As an avid swimmer I can well imagine how difficult it must be to suddenly find yourself with breathing problems where none ever existed before. The best I can suggest would be to fill out our claim form here–your claim information will then be reviewed by an attorney who is specializing in Chinese drywall litigation. I'd also suggest bookmarking our main Chinese drywall page as we'll continue to post updates and articles as the first case goes to trial this month. Also, a good resource to bookmark is the CDC's page on Chinese Drywall–you'll find links there for info specific to your state as well as health information and more. For an attorney review of your case, just fill out the form at the link above. Hope this helps–let us know how things go. – Abi

  12. My family and I moved in July 09. Since we have been hear I have noticed the odor mentioned previously. I presumed it was because of the bldg. be fairly new and it just needed to be vented because of the out gases. My 3 children ages 5, 6,& 7 have all been suffering from some sort of sneezing or cough. Two of the three had nose bleeds a week ago. If I turn the heat on to take the chill out of the air for the family ( I like to open all the windows) there is this odor. I have noticed a lot of tenants moving out week by week. I was told there is a class action for owners and renters. Do you know anything about this? We need all the information you can provide. We need to break our lease and get out this rental.


    1. Hi Hilton, You can take a look at some information about the Chinese drywall situation here. Additionally, if you look at some of the other comments here, you'll find mention of a couple of othe resources as well–one in particular with a fair amount of information is the Center for Disease Control (CDC) site.

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