Decision by attorneys in Miami could affect class action Chinese drywall lawsuit

United they stand! And divided they may fail to see a financial payout for the Chinese drywall that has turned their homes and lives upside down.

Chinese drywall has corroded copper, wiring and pipes in thousands of homes across Florida, and now many are being forced to move out of their homes or become severely ill.

The company that supplied Knauf Chinese drywall to thousands of Floridians is in the middle of a class action lawsuit that is heating up against the manufacturer of the product, Banner.

The attorney we spoke with says there is strength in numbers but if clients go their separate ways it could weaken their case and leave them with nothing.

Affected homeowners have had two choices: Wait and take a portion of the settlement if there ever is one, or have Banner rip out the Chinese drywall at their own expense.

But Boca Raton attorney Allison Grant, who represents thousands of Chinese drywall clients says neither of those options will happen if the company goes broke trying to fight individual lawsuits.

"Will they actually see anything greater by filing individual action? We believe not," says Grant.

Miami attorneys are removing their clients from the class action lawsuit and filing those individual legal claims. But legal action in Miami may leave clients empty-handed.

The motive, Grant says, is unclear. But the result could be devastating for thousands.

"Therefore those homeowners may wind up getting nothing," she says.

Grant says, Banner may simply not have enough money to pay individual claims and the cost of any successful class action suit. She argues victims must stay united or all may lose out.

"While a lot of homeowners are angry and I certainly understand that they have to weigh that against if they want their homes fixed."

Grant says the settlement will take at least another year.

How much clients part of the class action lawsuit will get is still to be determined.

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