SOURCE: Krupnick Campbell Malone Buser Slama Hancock Liberman & McKee

July 09, 2010 13:31 ET

Florida Attorneys Join Forces to File a Statewide Class Action Against Banner Supply

Attorneys Allege Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices and Seek Damages for All Homeowners and Associations Impacted by Defective Chinese Drywall Supplied by Banner Supply

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL--(Marketwire - July 9, 2010) -  Florida attorneys Mike Ryan and Ervin Gonzalez have been working to help find relief and solutions for homeowners across Broward County and the State of Florida. Ryan, a partner at Krupnick Campbell Malone Buser Slama Hancock Liberman & McKee, has been one of the lead attorneys in this litigation in Florida while also traveling to Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. with homeowners and builders to press for meaningful solutions to save communities from this defective drywall catastrophe. Florida Attorney Ervin Gonzalez, a partner with the firm of Colson Hicks, has been litigating locally and nationwide against many defendants and tried the nation's first Chinese drywall case successfully to a jury verdict, obtaining a multi-million dollar verdict.

Today, Ryan and Gonzalez joined forces to file a Florida statewide class action against Banner Supply in Broward County Circuit Court. The Complaint alleges that Banner Supply, a major supplier of defective Chinese drywall, knew in 2006 that the drywall it had been selling was defective, that Banner was in contact with Knauf-related entities regarding the complaints related to this defective drywall, and yet failed to inform the intended ultimate users, the homeowners.

Gonzalez and Ryan believe this is the best vehicle to finally find a partial solution to this catastrophe in Florida, as to this Defendant, as well as some much needed relief for homeowners and associations, to whom it cannot come soon enough. The team selected representative plaintiffs who are homeowners, condominium owners, townhome owners, and associations while pursuing a single defendant to try to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Last month, a court in Miami-Dade County entered an order certifying a class action for a group of Miami-Dade County homeowners, and included Banner Supply as a defendant in the certified class action. "We are going to try to obtain a ruling on class certification as quickly as possible and then take these cases to the jury," said Gonzalez. The Broward County Circuit Court established a single division for the drywall cases. Ryan has been appointed by the Court as the Plaintiffs' Liaison Counsel for the Chinese Drywall cases for Broward County. 

"Mr. Ryan and I recognize the situation for homeowners is nothing short of desperate. Insurance companies are not providing any coverage for the damage. Many cannot live in their homes. They are unable to sell or lease the home. While homeowners are trying to pay their mortgages, taxes and upkeep on the homes, banks are threatening to foreclose or have foreclosed already," said Gonzalez. "Had Banner gone public with this information, thousands of homeowners could have avoided this catastrophe and saved entire communities from devastating financial loss," added Ryan.

"Since March of 2009, we have been describing this catastrophe as a 'silent hurricane,' with a path of destruction throughout Florida and the country," said Ryan. "In some sense it is worse than a hurricane because there is no insurance. This latest action is part of the evolving strategy to find solutions as quickly as possible."