Banner Supply agrees to $54 million Chinese drywall settlement

06/14/2011 12:26 PM

06/14/2011 12:27 PM

Banner Supply Co., the Miami-based firm that supplied the vast majority of Chinese drywall in Florida, has agreed to pay $54 million to settle claims.

Later this year, the money will be distributed among Florida homeowners with tainted drywall supplied by Banner, according to Allison Grant, a Boca Raton lawyer representing nearly 1,000 drywall clients in Florida.

Builders that already have fixed properties also may expect to be compensated, Grant said Tuesday.

“This is huge news,” she said. “We’re well on our way to resolving these claims.”

The $54 million isn't enough to cover all the homeowners supplied by Banner, but plaintiffs lawyers are hoping other suppliers, installers and builders eventually will contribute money as well, Grant said.

Hundreds of homes in Broward and Palm Beach counties are thought to contain Chinese drywall, which was imported to Florida and the Southeast during the housing boom and following a series of hurricanes.

The defective wallboard corrodes wiring, copper pipes, appliances and metals and emits a "rotten egg" odor. Some homeowners blame the drywall for nosebleeds, respiratory problems and other symptoms, but the federal government has yet to link it to any health risk.

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