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Florida Judge Rules Insurance Covers Chinese Drywall

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In a Florida lawsuit, Judge Robert Foster rules that damage caused by Chinese Drywall to an Odessa homeowner is covered by his insurance policy.

The lawsuit involves Craig and Melissa Walker of Odessa Florida. The Walkers had to move out of their house two years after moving in, because of the Chinese Drywall. They brought suit against their insurance company, Springfield, Ill-based Teachers Insurance Co, for not covering the damages, claiming that they paid for insurance that would cover unexpected loss, and that their loss was “no different than any other unexpected loss and should be treated no differently than other losses, like lightning or fire.”

The judge agreed stating that the gas that emanated from the drywall was an “unforeseen occurrence” that caused a “chemical reaction”. Thousands of owners have suffered from the use of Chinese drywall, which produces a gas that destroys metal and appliances, and is alleged to be a hazard to humans. To remedy the home, it must be stripped of all drywall and rebuilt from the studs.

When the Walkers turned to their insurance for help, “They didn’t even send anybody out,” Craig Walker said. “They just immediately told us, ‘We don’t cover that.’ ” The lawyer for the Teachers Insurance Co., stated that a defective material exclusion pertained to the drywall, but the judge disagreed saying that the drywall “serves its purpose and functions as drywall.”

The judge also ruled in the lawsuit that the insurance company should also cover damage to personal belonging because the insurance policy covers smoke damage and Foster interpreted smoke the same as gas because ‘smoke’ as defined by the Meriam-Webster dictionary is a ‘suspension of particles in a gas.’ Foster’s order states that: “The court has applied the definition that allows coverage, which is at least as reasonable as the definition that might exclude coverage.”

How much the insurance company will have to pay will be left up to a jury. disclaimer: This article: Florida Judge Rules Insurance Covers Chinese Drywall was posted on Monday, May 9th, 2011 at 7:43 pm at and is filed under Construction Defect Lawsuits.

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