South Florida lawmakers call for defective drywall makers to pay up
Chinese company have avoid legal consequences for years, they say
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – South Florida families affected by defective Chinese drywall were joined Monday by Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Federica Wilson in urging action against the responsible companies, which have thus far avoided legal consequences.
David and Corina Gonzalez are one of five families who have been financially and emotionally drained after finding contaminated Chinese drywall in their homes.
"This whole time we thought it was just allergies. Little did we know that the entire three years, we were exposing our son to these toxic elements," David Gonzalez said.
The problems started between 2006 and 2009. The defective drywall has gotten the families sick and forced them from their homes. From Homestead to Boca Raton, some have lost their homes in the process.
"I know financially, it devastated us," homeowner David Gonzalez said.
Their lawyer, Patrick Montoya, said these homeowners are just a few of more than 1,700 people still affected in South Florida.
"When the sulfuric gas came out, it affected their health, their children and their grandparents. They had to move out of the homes, but they didn’t want to default on their mortgages so they tried to keep both, but they couldn’t afford both, so many lost homes," Montoya said.
Wilson, a Miami Gardens Democrat, and Diaz-Balart, a Miami-Dade County Republican, have made a commitment and bipartisan call to hold Chinese drywall manufacturers such as Taishan responsible.
"The goal is to make sure those victimized by Chinese drywall who the courts say deserve compensation are compensated," Diaz-Balart said.
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