CAPE CORAL, Fla. - WINK News continues to follow families impacted by toxic Chinese drywall. This comes as Florida Senator Bill Nelson pushes one of the leading manufacturers of Chinese drywall to pay back people.
A Cape Coral couple moved into what they thought would be their dream home. Instead, their life turned into a four year nightmare, and they want people to never forget what so many families are still going through.
The discovery that a new air conditioning unit was corroding led to a gut-wrenching realization. "We had everything, our furniture, our life invested, everything we had at that point was paid for. And now we're going to have to get out," said William Zariske.
The toxic environment of Chinese drywall in Kristin Hagen and William Zariske's Cape Coral home ate away at appliances, electronics, and even their health. Personal pictures show the damage.
"We'd come into the house, it was closed up, the eye irritation was extraordinary," said Hagan. "We stuck it out here, but it's very hard. We lost everything we owned, basically. Every day was a struggle. One way or another."
A federal court recently ruled that Taishan Gypsum, a leading manufacturer of defective Chinese drywall, must provide compensation to affected homeowners. That prompted Senator Bill Nelson to circulate a letter saying quote "On behalf of thousands of Americans that continue to deal with the impacts of problem, Chinese drywall, we … urge you to reach a fair and just settlement."
This couple wonders if any amount of compensation will ever make up lost time and lost money. "I know they're not going to pay for any pain and suffering,and we've been through so much aggravation with this," said Hagan.
"It's horrendous. A horrendous experience. This place might as well caught fire," said Zariske.
According to Senator Bill Nelson's office, Florida saw one of the worst cases of defective drywall, with 2,000 of the reported 3,400 drywall cases in the country.