Miami couple wins $6 million in punitive damages against Chinese-drywall makers


A Miami-Dade jury recently awarded $6 million in punitive damages against makers of Chinese drywall found to cause health and structural problems in a Coconut Grove house.

Plaintiffs Jeffrey and Elisa Robin had already won $1.1 million in compensatory damages for the faulty building material, which was identified as a culprit in home contaminations throughout Florida and beyond during the housing boom. Jurors on Friday in the Miami-Dade Circuit Court case returned $6 million in additional punitive damages against China-based defendant Knauf Plasterboard and its German affiliate, Knauf GIPS KG.

Victor Diaz, the Miami Beach lawyer representing the Robins, called the verdict “the best accomplishment in my legal career.” He described the punitive-damage amount as particularly high for a case that only involved property damage. “But we’re more pleased that the jury recognized that what the public was, up until now, told about Chinese drywall has not been the full truth,’’ Diaz said.

Even with the verdicts in hand, the Robins and Diaz still face the challenge of collecting. The verdicts are subject to appeal and other legal wrangling.

Lawyers for Knauf were not immediately available for comment Monday evening.


Read more Business stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category