Friendswood couple sues over Chinese drywall

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 16, 2011, 7:50am

GALVESTON � Alleging the drywall in their Friendswood residence poses a danger, James DeBruin II and Candice DeBruin are suing the home's seller.

The DeBruins' lawsuit against K. Hovnanian II LLC argues that the business failed to notify the plaintiffs prior to the sale that the property was built with drywall manufactured in China which allegedly emits dangerous and corrosive gasses.

Court papers were filed May 5 in Galveston County District Court.

Hovnanian sold the house in the 500 block of Falcon Lake Drive to the DeBruins on Aug. 30, 2006. Both parties contracted to have the structure built in accordance to the applicable building codes, the suit states.

The original petition claims that the defendant "expressively represented to the DeBruins that the home built complied with building codes, was fit to use as a single family residence and had particular qualities and characteristics."

"At no time during the course of their purchase did Hovnanian disclose that the drywall would be defective or emit dangerous gasses," it says.

According to the DeBruins, the fumes from the drywall damaged many components of the house, including but not limited to the HVAC system and the electrical wiring and fixtures.

The plaintiffs claim they and their family pets also experienced health problems because of their alleged exposure to the drywall, the suit says.

The suit states that an inspection last October uncovered drywall labeled with "KNAUF," "CHINA" and "C36."

The DeBruins claim they were forced to move out of their home.

They seek unspecified monetary damages and are represented by Ryan & Dawson.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss.

Case No. 11-cv-0741

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