- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2009

Homebuilder Lennar Corp. disclosed on Monday it has been named in a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of homeowners who bought houses built with Chinese-made drywall and claim it emits gasses that make people sick.

The lawsuit, filed last month in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, is one of several that have been filed in several states against Chinese drywall manufacturers, builders and suppliers.

The plaintiffs claim they bought two homes built by Lennar that were made with the Chinese drywall, which they contend emits sulfur gasses and other fumes, Lennar said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lennar said its subcontractors used drywall made in China during the construction of its homes primarily in 2005 and 2006. The company said some of the material contains high levels of sulfur and may emit sulfur-based gases.

The builder said it has been inspecting homes that it built that might have had the Chinese drywall and paying to have it and other components, such as ventilation and air conditioning systems, replaced.

The homebuilder, meanwhile, has sued the Chinese drywall manufacturer and its distributors.

Lennar said it has established reserves for the estimated cost of replacing drywall and other materials in its homes, but noted that it expects any additional costs beyond its reserves to be covered by insurance.

Hundreds of people nationwide have been complaining that Chinese-made drywall releases gasses that make them sick.

Last week, Florida’s Health Department said it would begin testing the air quality in homes to determine whether the material can make people ill.

Estimates indicate the drywall may be in more than 100,000 homes, more than 35,000 in Florida alone.

Shares of Lennar tumbled $1.74, or 18.6 percent, to close at $7.60 Monday.

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