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Supreme Court Turns Down Chinese Drywall Case

Florida Supreme Court
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The Florida Supreme Court has declined a couple's request to take up a dispute about whether a property insurer is required to cover damage related to Chinese drywall in a Tampa home.

Justices on Monday issued a decision saying they would not hear an appeal by William and Stacey Peek in a case against American Integrity Insurance Company of Florida.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled last year that the insurer was not required to cover the damage, leading the Peeks to go to the Supreme Court.

The couple moved into a new home in January 2009 and soon began to smell a sulfur odor, according to the September appeals-court ruling. Later, the Peeks filed a claim with American Integrity, saying that the smell had forced them to vacate the home and that corrosion had occurred in the copper coils of an air-conditioning system and other electrical components of the house.

American Integrity said the Peeks' policy did not cover losses related to Chinese drywall, pointing to several factors including a coverage exclusion for "latent defects."

The couple filed a lawsuit alleging a contract breach and contending that humidity was a "concurrent cause" of the damage, which could have resulted in coverage. A circuit judge and the appeals court ruled against the couple.