Most of the lawsuits surrounding defective imported drywall contaminated with sulfur compounds have been settled in federal court, and many of the affected buildings have been repaired and put back into service. But for a few properties and a few owners, the problems have lingered. Case in point: the Norfolk, Virginia, condo unit of Michelle Germano, which remains unrepaired, unliveable, and mired in a legal limbo. The Virginian-Pilot has a report (see: "Condo association files 2nd suit against woman forced to move due to Chinese drywall," by Sarah Kleiner).
Michelle Germano, who owns the condo, is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit targeting the drywall's manufacturer, the local supplier, and the unit's developer. But Germano has also run afoul of her former neighbors, the paper reported.
"Germano believes her neighbors abandoned her after she became a visible figure in the media fighting for drywall families," the paper reported. "It makes me sick to my stomach that during the greatest tragedy of my life, my community turned on me for property values," Germano told the paper.
"Harbor Walk association board President John Prewett said the community harbors no ill will toward her," the paper reported. Said Prewatt: "That's her personal feeling. The community didn't turn on her. It's a business decision." (The condo association is suing Germano for thousands of dollars in unpaid owner fees.)
"Frankly, I wish her the best of luck because it is a difficult situation," said attorney Rodney Malouf, who represents the condo association. "But Chinese drywall does not absolve her from paying."