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Drywall dispute goes public | News

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Drywall dispute goes public
News, Real Estate
Drywall dispute goes public

TAMPA, Fla. -- It is a stately home on Davis Islands, but what it's known for now is a statement.

"It's a little extreme," says resident Jesse Mortillo of a large banner on the house. "But it is a major issue, so to make people aware of it is a good thing, but it's also kind of an eyesore at the same time."

The house belongs to Billy and Stacy Peek and the banner reads, "Devonshire Properties, Inc. built this home with Chinese drywall and will not repair it."

The Peeks' attorney, Todd Hodges, showed 10 News the inside of the house. He says in 2008 when the Peeks first moved in, they noticed a bad smell right away and then came a variety of ailments.

"It made everybody sick," says Hodges. "The little girl and Stacy...their hair was coming out in chunks. The cats were going bald."

The family moved out and had the drywall tested. According to one report, their drywall is off-gassing "volatile sulfur compounds" known to corrode metal and the Peeks have joined a class-action lawsuit.

However, an attorney for Devonshire Properties, Gary Gibbons, disputes the Peeks' claims. He says testing done for the builder shows the drywall is not defective and he calls the banner on the outside of the house "inappropriate."

But while this drywall dispute plays out in the courts, the banner forces it into the court of public opinion.

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