Based on existing un-approved settlement documents, and everything going smoothly ... 10 - 12 months, after final settlement documents are approved, that to-date, has not occurred.
Consumers, Victims, and Claimants all are asking questions:
1) How do I qualify ?
2) How long do I have too qualify ?
3) Who do I talk with too qualify ?
4) Do I need an attorney or lawyer too qualify ?
5) What documents do I need too qualify ?
6) How do I prove my drywall came from Banner Supply ?
7) How will the money be divided ?
8) What toll-free number do I call for answers or information ?
9) What website address explains process, provides forms, and answers questions ?
Judge Fallon controls answers to the above questions, and FINAL approval of answers to all these questions and more.
I can not speak for the Judge, but can provide some obvious facts the Judge will have to review, think about, and give careful consideration, before accepting the current settlement offer.
Yes ... I said current settlement offer.
Judge Fallon has options, as with any proposed settlement or legal document. Simply stated, Judge Fallon can reject, accept, or request modification, that could affect all the questions above, and probably even a few more.
1) Simply divide actual settlement amount ($54,475,558.00)
(1,400,000), clearly defined and documented, settlement amount covers.
54,475,558 divided by 1,400,000 = 38.91 or basically $38.91 per board.
Simply confirm infected properties, claimants, or victims and calculate the number of boards, that meet Chinese Manufacturer Brand labeling or marking guidelines, per settlement guidelines that establish tainted corrosive imported boards (1,400,000).
Judge Fallon's EPO (Evidence Protection or Preservation Order) clearly provides this information concerning current abated houses and future houses to be abated.
Sounds simple, except the victim or consumer has to demo the structure, conform and comply with EPO Guidelines, answering or providing documented evidence supporting specifically how many qualifying Chinese boards were actually installed, and then, WHO supplied the materials, Banner Supply Florida Distributors, or maybe even another supplier, other than Banner Supply, NOT covered by this specific settlement.
2) Review all Banner Supply Florida delivery tickets and determine how many boards
delivered to each address.
Major problem: Not all boards delivered by Banner Supply Florida during time-frame were imported from China or Chinese Brand boards.
3) Review all Banner Supply Florida delivery addresses, confirm corrosion issues
exist, structure by structure, measure all walls and ceilings, and determine basic
number of actual boards installed based on 4 foot X 12 foot type boards.
Again this process fails to address non Chinese or non Made in China boards, and
provides inaccurate quantities of actual Chinese or Made in China boards eligible
(1,400,000) or that this specific settlement covers.
4) Current EPO Guidelines, previously abated structures with an EPO or future
structures with documented EPO that meet or exceed Judge Fallon's EPO
Guidelines, will not only provide actual specific number of documented, tainted
corrosive Chinese or Made in China boards, but will also confirm specific installation
location within the structure, clearly allowing accurate and factual quantities to be
Again, just one small flaw: Who supplied the boards ? Banner Supply Florida distributors are not the only suppliers of drywall in Florida, or for that fact, Chinese or Made in China, tainted corrosive imported drywall.
5) Simply divide the full settlement amount ($54,475,558.00)
tainted corrosive drywall structures, that contain confirmed Banner Supply delivered
drywall and require Banner Supply provide detailed delivery tickets, confirming
specifically each structures address.
6) Judge Fallon needs to address, how control of the settlement disbursement is used
or applied towards corrective repairs, or will joint checks be issued to those with a
mortgage, current delinquent mortgage, structures in foreclosure, or other similar
circumstances. Just another question for Judge Fallon, or will Claimants, Victims,
and Consumers have full and sole discretion on how to spend the disbursement ?
7) Potential claimants = 6,000 plus structures.
Judge Fallon will have to evaluate, these options, along with numerous other options, formulating a clear and equitable plan, disbursing these specific settlement funds. ($54,475,558.00)
Remember every lawyer or law firms typical contract agreement with their CDW or TCDW client, requires a percentage of the settlement disbursement goes to the attorney or their firm, further reducing the claimant, victim, or consumers FINAL settlement amount.
Another major Banner Supply Settlement, disbursement factor or issue for Judge Fallon to negotiate ... detailed, and disclosed at this time in Sections 14.6 and 14.7 ... specifically covers lawyers or attorney fees, and PSC (Plaintiff Steering Committee) fees ...
Total fees per Sections 14.6 and 14.7, can not exceed 32% of the settlement amount, each victim, claimant, or consumer receives, and 10% of that goes to the PSC.
Concerns noted above, and major questions will require specific answers and guidelines, that at this time are not clearly defined, documented, approved, or finalized.
Remember ... the devil is in the details ... and the details of this specific settlements disbursement guidelines, are only CLEAR and TRANSPARENT concerning one (1) issue, how much or what percentage the lawyers or attorneys and the PSC (Plaintiff Steering Committee) will get paid and how.
Judge Fallon has the HOT POTATO, but I strongly feel, after all is said and done, Fallon will approve a revised settlement offer, that clearly answers all the above questions and favors the Consumers, Victims, and Claimants and limits PSC and attorney fees to a reasonable and fair, not to exceed 15% - 20%. After all, remember the more clients the attorneys have, the bigger the check, or their fair and equitable share.
My last question at this time ...
How long before Judge Fallon provides his opinion, and guidelines covering the current Banner Settlement offer ???
Consumers, Victims, and Claimants have already waited over three (3) years and are fast learning the hard way, justice and settlements move a lot like a glacier ...
downhill, slow, and in small increments.
Consumer Advocate and Forensic Construction Consultant,
Michael S. Foreman
Foreman and Associates, Inc.
# # #
Foreman and Associates, a FULL service forensic construction consulting firm.
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