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Miami-Dade County, FL

This action was brought by a developer against a general contractor and drywall subcontractor of a high-rise condominium complex in Aventura, Florida. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants installed defective Chinese drywall which released sulfur-containing vapors into the units. The plaintiff claimed that all of the defective drywall had to be removed and replaced. The court determined liability against the defendants and the case went to the jury on the issue of damages only. The defendant challenged the costs which the plaintiff claimed were associated with the drywall removal.

The plaintiff is a developer who constructed a high-end luxury high-rise condominium complex in Aventura. The defendant general contractor and drywall subcontractor were retained to install the drywall in the building. The building was occupied starting in ________.

Beginning in ________, the plaintiff argued that unit owners started complaining that they had to polish silver every day because it was constantly tarnishing. The plaintiff alleged that investigation revealed that the Chinese drywall installed by the defendants was defective and contained high sulfur content. The drywall emitted gasses that smelled like rotten eggs, corroded wires and sprinkler heads and caused significant problems to the residents of the complex and a loss in resale of the units.

The plaintiff ultimately determined that all of the defective drywall in the complex had to be removed and replaced. The plaintiff claimed that it was necessary to move occupants of affected units out of the building to complete the repairs to those units. The plaintiff asserted statutory breach of warranty and contractual indemnity against the defendants.

The plaintiff presented the jury with a total of $________ in damages organized into four categories including $________ for direct repairs; $________ for consultant costs; $________ in relocation costs for the unit owners and $________ in carrying costs (loan interest, utilities, taxes, condo fees, etc.).The defendant argued that many of the plaintiff’s claimed costs were inflated, including the requested $________ in consulting fees, which the defense maintained was for duplicative and unnecessary consultants.

Across the board, the defendant contended that the plaintiff completely overspent in correcting the problem. In addition, the defendant disputed the plaintiff’s claimed carrying costs, arguing that those costs would have been incurred regardless of the drywall removal. The defendant claimed that any loss on unit sales resulted from a downward turn in the real estate market.The jury was asked to deduct $________ in collateral source (insurance payments) from the plaintiff’s damages.The jury awarded the plaintiff $________ in damages, representing all of the first three damage categories (direct repairs, consultant costs and relocation costs) less the $________ set-off. The jury declined to award damages for the plaintiff’s claimed carrying costs. The court added $________ in prejudgment interest to the plaintiff’s award.

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