On April 24, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Eldon E. Fallon signed a $24 million preliminary settlement approval order for residents of Villa Lago at Renaissance Commons. Residents of the 328 unit Boynton Beach community allege defective Chinese Drywall caused damage to their property and filed claims in 2009. The settlement is part of a multi-district class action litigation (MDL 2047) which consolidated lawsuits brought in several federal district courts in the Gulf Coast and mid-Atlantic regions by property owners whose homes and other properties were allegedly damaged by Chinese Drywall.
Villa Lago was built during 2005 through 2007 in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita when the nation faced a critical shortage of drywall. In order to address the shortage, hundreds of millions of square feet of Chinese Drywall were exported to the United States, sold to distributors and suppliers, resold to builders and installers, and installed in thousands of properties domestically, but primarily in Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia. The drywall used in the construction of communities including Villa Lago was found to be defective and responsible for causing significant damage to homes.
The settlement will provide residents with a fully remediated home, including the removal of problematic drywall, fire safety alarm devices, electrical distribution components (including receptacles, switches and circuit breakers), gas service piping and fire suppression sprinkler systems. Public notification for the settlement will commence sometime in May 2013 when affected residents can apply to receive a portion of the settlement award. The qualification criteria for the settlement fund can be found by visiting www.laed.uscourts.gov/Drywall/Settlements.htm.