Miami Herald

December 29, 2010

Home builder must pay $460,000 for wetlands violations

Publication Date: 12/28/10
Source: Miami Herald
Posted By:

When one of South Florida’s largest home builders received a federal permit seven years ago for a development called Islands of Doral, the approval came with some conditions.

To compensate for destroying 415 acres of maleleuca-infested wetlands in West Miami-Dade County, Century Homebuilders agreed to set aside another 47 acres and create a wetlands preserve by removing the exotic species and replanting with spikerush, pond apple and other native foliage.

Century never completed the job.…

December 10, 2010

Settlement Reached in Lawsuit Over Defective Chinese Drywall

Publication Date 06/22/2010
Source: Miami Herald (FL)

Two companies in a class-action case over defective Chinese drywall in Homestead, Fla., houses are willing to pay $6 million to settle the case.

South Kendall Construction and an affiliate, Palm Isles Holdings, will pay $4 million, and Keys Gate Realty will pay $2.6 million to homeowners if the offer is approved in court.

Jason and Melissa Harrell, who bought a two-story house in a Homestead neighborhood built by South Kendall Construction in 2008, sued last year in Miami-Dade Circuit Court after they found imported drywall was the source of the smell in their home and the cause of appliances failing repeatedly. Their case was granted class-action status last month.

“The settlements are fair and reasonable,” said the Harrells’ attorney, Victor Diaz. But the couple and other parties in the class aren’t yet whole. “They do not fully compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.”…

November 29, 2010

Drywall Firms Offer to Settle

Publication Date 11/24/2010
Source: Miami Herald (FL)

Drywall manufacturer Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin agreed this week to pay to repair dozens of houses in Homestead that were part of a class-action suit over Chinese drywall — and cover their attorneys’ fees and other expenses.

And the homeowners won’t have to pay back the manufacturer if less than 95 percent of the drywall in their homes turns out to be KPT board, a sticking point in the past.

In another victory this week for the same group of homeowners — just days before their case was slated for trial — Miami drywall supplier Banner Supply offered a settlement to the 79 homeowners whose houses became unlivable because of the defective Chinese product the company provided.…

September 1, 2010

After tourist dies of Legionnaires’ disease, downtown Miami’s EPIC Hotel closes to guests

Acknowledgement to Ironshore Environmental

By Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY

In the last three months, a European tourist who’d stayed at the luxury EPIC Hotel in downtown Miami died from Legionnaires’ disease, while two other prior guests had fallen ill with the same serious form of pneumonia, according to the Miami Herald.

Because all three people had stayed at the EPIC, Miami-Dade Health Department officials on Friday issued an advisory to EPIC Hotel guests. Since then, EPIC had to relocate some 400 guests so they’d stop coming into contact with the hotel’s water, which is what health officials believe is the problem, the Herald article says.

Hotel officials are currently working with health officials to resolve the problem, according to a company statement (see below). The EPIC – opened less than a year ago by San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels – has temporarily stopped accepting new guests, the statement says.…