Local News

Homeowners in three states sue Bragg drywall supplier

Posted December 20, 2010

— Dozens of homeowners in Florida, Alabama and Arizona have sued a Charlotte-based company, alleging that the firm's drywall emits harmful sulfur gases that smell like rotten eggs.

National Gypsum also might have supplied drywall for military housing on Fort Bragg, where Army officials are investigating the unexplained deaths of 11 children under age 2 since the beginning of 2007.

The class-action lawsuit calls National Gypsum wallboard "inherently defective." Homeowners complained of respiratory problems and corroded, blackened wiring, according to the suit.

"They tested over 300 pieces from one house (involved in the suit), and there is absolutely nothing wrong with our wallboard," National Gypsum spokeswoman Nancy Spurlock said Monday. "You can say anything you want in a lawsuit. That doesn't mean it's true."

Spurlock said Florida water has a high sulfur content, which could be to blame for the foul odor and corrosion.

Nobody at Fort Bragg or with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission would confirm that National Gypsum drywall was used in homes on post, but Spurlock says it probably was.

Fort Bragg housing Homeowners in three states sue Bragg drywall supplier

In October, Fort Bragg officials said results from their own testing ruled out any environmental problems in their homes, including toxic drywall. Results of tests by the Consumer Product Safety Commission are expected back in February.

Three of the dead babies were linked to the same house in the Ardennes neighborhood. Pearline Sculley, whose son, Jayden, was among those three, said Monday that she's convinced defective drywall is to blame for the deaths.

"I don't feel it's just a coincidence that three babies died in the same house," Sculley said.

She said she never noticed the rotten egg smell, but her husband often struggled to breathe.

"He had a lot of respiratory problems during the time we were living there," she said.


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  • gbrincku Dec 22, 2010

    In a recent interview with ProPublica and the Herald-Tribune, Spurlock said National Gypsum still stands by its claim that its drywall isn’t outgassing sulfur at levels that can cause corrosion. She suggested instead that corrosion found in homes built with National Gypsum might be caused by sulfuric water, which is common in Florida.

    But according to copies of the Packer Engineering tests obtained by ProPublica and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, none of the 21 water samples Packer took from the Brincku home had high amounts of sulfur. ~ ProPublica

  • gbrincku Dec 20, 2010

    PART 5 - If flyash is designated as a hazardous material we as homeowners would have the right to know what we are putting in our homes and what we are exposing our children too. This should be our right these are our homes and they are unlivable and we have to fight in court to get the most basic information if our drywall was made with hazardous materials. That is just plain wrong! Regardless, attention and further detailed investigations need to occur in order to uncover the truth and restore not only our home, but those of the thousands of families that are being affected by this tragedy. I hope that my statement will serve as a catalyst to examine the health and safety issues that may involve American as well as the Chinese drywall.

  • gbrincku Dec 20, 2010

    Part 4 - How was the consumer to know that the drywall was not pure mined gypsum anymore? We are digging deeper into what actually went wrong with our drywall. Our concern is that the drywall industry is totally unregulated. When we buy drywall we don’t know if it was made from byproducts from coal scrubbers or has had some recycled Chinese drywall scrap added to the mix. We had this drywall installed in our homes with no information as its contents nor will the manufactures provide this information. Now that our homes are contaminated we need to know and we have had to file a lawsuit to find out if we have hazardous material in our homes. This is not right! Our attorneys Robert Gary and Greg Weiss are investigating almost a hundred homes with contamination problems from a single drywall plants that makes it’s drywall from flue gas desulfurization. None of these people and perhaps thousands more have any way to find out the source of the raw material in their drywall.

  • jamkinn Dec 20, 2010

    AS all of you are probably aware I too or I should say we too, have Toxic American Drywall. Alot of you have read my quote about being Totally and Completely alone when I found out that we had American Drywall. This story told through Joaquin Sapien and Aaron Kessler, and gentlemen forgive me if I have misspelled your Names. Your stories have shed light on the devastation that this Drywall Tragedy has had on the American People, whether it is Chinese or American Board. The Poisonous Chemicals are there. Through Scientific testing and not some guesswork as some would have the American People believe. I do not care how you install drywall, I do not care how you carry the drywall. Again, the Science is there. I am not writing this to bash nor accuse, I am simply telling you the same thing that Joaquin wrote. In moving into our Home built for our Disabilities in the very beginning of 2007, we began to have issues as listed in the ProPublica Article. We not only live with Disablilites, we n

  • gbrincku Dec 20, 2010

    CONTINUE - PART 3 National Gypsum acknowledged there was a serious problem in our home, but denied any issues with the drywall. Our test from MIT and Rimkus Consulting Group, the testing company that our builder's insurance company hired, both confirmed that our drywall is off gassing. Rimkus tested our well water & told us our water is normal. We also have other scientists that also agree that our drywall is off gassing. Over the past four years our family has experienced various health problems including nose bleeds, respiratory issues, irritated eyes, dizziness, shortness of breath, severe headaches and fainting.

    In conclusion, this ordeal has completely consumed our lives and we are worried about health concerns from our tainted drywall. With that said we are deeply committed to finding the truth. Our drywall came from Apollo Beach, FL. that is next to Teco Energy. There are no standards in making drywall. How was the consumer to know that the drywall was not pure mined gypsum

  • michael19 Dec 20, 2010

    First lines of defense -
    Denial, attack the obvious evidence, attack the accuser, blame management or human error
    Patterns have developed concerning this specific issue and others
    Quality Control, Liability, Responsibility, Accountability ?
    Our legal systems and corporate systems have failed to follow the items noted above, and followed the rules
    1) Wrong is OK if everybody does it ?
    2) It is always somebody else's fault ? 3) Somebody-else will pay for the fix ? 4) Profits are more important than quality / safety ? 5) Manufacture / Sell ... risks of injury, death, damage ? 6) Exclusions / Disclosures cover our risk / liability I'm sad to say, this is what is wrong with our government, corporate structure, moral, and business models. Time to reflect, accept, and act responsible, with accountability, and liability Changing the cycle before we implode as a Country. Just a thought

    Michael S. Foreman Forensic Construction Consultant Consumer Advocate

  • RB-1 Dec 20, 2010

    "Spurlock said Florida water has a high sulfur content, which could be to blame for the foul odor and corrosion."

    That's true. Florida water is awful. Some of it comes out of the tap yellow or green.

    Still, I think there's more Chinese Drywall in this country than the country will admit.

  • gbrincku Dec 20, 2010

    CONTINUE FROM BELOW - On January 5, 2009 we submitted samples to Thomas Eagar and Dr. Harold R. Larson, both of MIT. The samples consisted of drywall from National Gypsum Gridmarx & US Gypsum, corroded copper pennies, copper wiring & metal from our jewelry box.

    From the drywall samples sent, MIT only tested the National Gypsum Gridmarx drywall sample taken from our air conditioning closet upstairs. They indicated our electrical system must be inspected and replaced as the sulfurous gases causing the corrosion have accelerated the aging process of wiring by tenfold or more. In other words, our four year old home has the wiring of a 40 year old home. Based on the report we received, both Professor Thomas Eagar and Dr. Harold Larson believe our drywall to be defective.

    National Gypsum and Packer Engineering visited our home on March 5th-11th, 2009 and opened every wall. They determined our home didn't contain any Chinese Drywall. National Gypsum acknowledged there was a serious prob

  • gbrincku Dec 20, 2010

    On December 20, 2008 we read an article in the paper pertaining to Chinese Drywall, described all of the issues we were experiencing. We began our own investigation of our drywall and after reviewing pictures taken of the upstairs drywall before the installment, we determined at least in the upstairs we had no Chinese drywall. All of the pictures indicate the only drywall used upstairs was from National Gypsum Goldbond (Gridmarx). Additionally, our subcontractor insisted he used only American drywall in our home. At that point we were confused since we did not find any Chinese drywall in our home.

    We began searching the internet for answers. We contacted Thomas Eagar, Sc.D., P.E. of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). We explained our situation and our health concerns regarding our 8 year old son, Harrison. He agreed to help us by testing samples of our drywall and other corroded items from our house. On January 5, 2009 we submitted samples to Thomas Eagar and Dr. Harol

  • chinesedrywall1 Dec 20, 2010

    Why are they not going to know the results until Feb?! The first time the CPSC visited one of these homes was this past summer and being a CDW homeowner I can tell you it only takes a few days to get the results back from a lab on whether the drywall is toxic or not!