Clay County Family Feels Trapped by Tainted Chinese Drywall | Environment

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Clay County Family Feels Trapped by Tainted Chinese Drywall
Clay County Family Feels Trapped by Tainted Chinese Drywall

LAKE ASBURY, Fla. -- James and Melissa Strickland purchased their home in 2006 and thought they would enjoy their brick home for years to come.

But the Stricklands said they first noticed a problem in 2007; the coil in their air conditioning unit had failed. "We didn't want to think it was anything in our new home, our brand new home," said Melissa Strickland.

It happened again and again, and some of their other appliances were having problems as well. "Two televisions, two microwaves, two garbage disposals, two refrigerators, two compressors in my garage," said James Strickland.

"And coffee pots," added Melissa Strickland.

A Florida Department of Health report revealed the tainted drywall releases a sulfur fume that causes pipes and wiring to deteriorate. It also corrodes jewelry and mirrors.

The Stricklands said they have notice chronic respiratory problems. "My husband gets severe nose bleeds and two out of three of my kids are on sinus medicine," she said.

Last summer, the Stricklands' worst fears were realized: It was confirmed that their home may have tainted Chinese drywall.

They filed a warranty claim with their builder Adams Homes, which turned it over to its dry wall supplier. the supplier confirmed the conditions by an inspection, then offered to replace the drywall in limited areas and pay them several hundred dollars a month while they were out of their home.

But the Stricklands said the proposal was unreasonable. "We were to release their supplier, all of their subcontractors for the allegedly bad drywall," said Melissa Strickland.

They have now joined the nationwide class action lawsuit and are waiting for the next step. The multi-district litigation, which the Strickland family is now a part of, covers Florida, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. The company named in the lawsuit is Knauf Plasterboard Tiangin.

The Stricklands would prefer Adams Homes to buy it back but have received no response from the builder. Recently their Clay County property appraiser reduced the value of their home to the value of the land only, about $25,000.

"We cannot resell; the house would not appraise," said James Strickland.

Adams Homes General Manager William Lisecki was not available for comment.


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