Covington residents sue over Chinese drywall

Michelle Massey Apr. 30, 2010, 6:15am




Claiming their recently built home contains defective Chinese-manufactured drywall, Covington residents Dennis and Susan Cunningham have filed a lawsuit stating their home is not fit for occupancy.

The Cunninghams filed suit in Orleans Parish District Court against Sun Construction, Interior Exterior Building Supply, L.P., Interior Exterior Enterprises, Arch Insurance Co., The North River Insurance Co., Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., Landmark Insurance Co. and Firemans Fund Insurance Co.

They allege that Sun Construction built their home with drywall that was supplied by Interior Exterior.

After moving into the home they purchased for $219,330 in July 2006, the Cunninghams began experiencing problems associated with their air conditioning and electrical systems. Sun Construction attempted to remedy the defects by repairing the problems but repairs continued on and off for about three years, they claim.

The Cunninghams first discovered the existence of Chinese-manufactured drywall in the wall of their home in April 2009 and upon further investigation, discovered the drywall was the source causing damage to their property including electrical systems, the suit claims.

Causes of action filed against defendant Sun Construction include unjust enrichment, redhibition, breach of warranty of fitness, breach of contract and/or failure to warn and negligence.

The plaintiffs also contend that the Louisiana New Home Warranty Act is unconstitutional because it restricts the rights of the individual, denies justice, and fails to protect the happiness and general welfare of the people.

Interior Exterior is accused of knowingly selling an unreasonably dangerous product in violation of various Louisiana statutes including the Louisiana Products Liability Act.

The suit seeks an award of economic damages, damage to real and personal property, damages for physical and mental pain and suffering, emotional distress, fear and fright, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, attorneys' fees and expenses and court costs.

New Orleans attorneys Russ M. Herman, Leonard A. Davis, Stephen J. Herman, Joseph E. Cain and Jeremy S. Epstein of Herman, Herman, Katz & Cotlar represent the Cunninghams.

Judge Paulette R. Irons is assigned to the case.

Case No. 10-4203

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