On Monday, Broward County Circuit Judge Charles Greene, ruled that victims of defective Chinese drywall can file a separate lawsuit against the Miami-based distributor Banner Supply Co. if they are not satisfied with the $54 million Banner class settlement. The Banner class settlement affects about 2,000 Florida homeowners, however the number of victims across the south who are entitled a share of the class settlement is still unclear.
According to BizJournals.com, Judge Green’s order says that every plaintiff must file a notice about whether to be included in the settlement class or not.
Colson Hicks Edison, a Coral Gables-based law firm who is handling the settlement has warned that additional lawsuits against Banner Supply Co would cause the company into bankruptcy. Ervin Gonzalez, an Attorney at Colson Hicks Edison, believes that it is unwise to opt out of the settlement. On the other hand, Miami attorneys David Durkee and Victor Diaz believe that the class settlement will not provide enough money to each victim to repair their homes.
Banner Supply Co. supports the class settlement but opposes the option to opt out because this will mean more individual lawsuits for the company. Banner is also suing the German company Knauf Gips for $100 million, alleging they knew about the odor and corrosive nature of the drywall.