Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. LTD, a major Chinese drywall manufacturer, urged one of its main U.S. customers, Banner Supply, to sell thousands of sheets of foul-smelling drywall “overseas” after Banner complained about the tainted product, according to documents and depositions unsealed Friday by a Florida circuit court judge in Miami-Dade County. A Banner executive said the offer was refused.
Florida homeowners whose houses were built with the smelly drywall have filed a civil suit against Banner, which is set to begin Monday.
The also show that Germany-based Knauf and Florida-based Banner struck a confidential agreement: Knauf agreed to replace the tainted drywall with more than half a million dollars' worth of American product and Banner agreed not to sue Knauf or tell its customers, government regulators, or the news media about the deal.
In an article on Sunday, ProPublica and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that the extent of the drywall problem was kept from the public for two years.
You can browse the documents that were released on Friday in our Document Viewer. More details about the documents can be found on the Sarasota Herald-Tribune's site.