Lowe’s Companies Inc., the nation’s No. 2 home improvement chain, has set off a legal firestorm by agreeing to a $6.5 million national settlement over tainted drywall in a class-action suit being decided by Muscogee County Superior Court Judge Bobby Peters. The $6.5 million settlement would pay relatively small amounts — Lowe’s gift cards in amounts ranging from $50 to $2,000 — to most victims who had the tainted drywall in their homes. But the handful of attorneys who quietly negotiated the deal will receive a separate payment of $2.1 million.
NEW ORLEANS — For more than a year, the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity has insisted there were no defects in the Chinese drywall it used to build nearly 200 houses for victims of Hurricane Katrina, including many in its heavily publicized “Musicians’ Village’’ development in the Upper Ninth Ward. But a house-by-house canvas of Musicians’ Village by reporters from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and ProPublica found several homeowners who reported serious problems and one who said she had complained to Habitat for more than a year about corrosion and electronics failures believed to be related to her drywall.