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3,000 Plaintiffs in Chinese Drywall Lawsuits

Dec 15, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

The number of people joining lawsuits over defective Chinese drywall stands now at around 3,000.   All of the plaintiffs are part of the massive Chinese drywall multidistrict litigation currently pending in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

So far, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has received 2,276 reports from residents in 32 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico concerning Chinese drywall. Gases emitted from Chinese drywall are being blamed for significant property damage, including damage to HVAC systems, smoke detectors, electrical wiring, metal plumbing components, and other household appliances. These gases also produce a sulfurous odor that permeates homes, and cause metals, including air conditioning coils and even jewelry, to corrode. People living with Chinese drywall have also suffered eye, respiratory and sinus problems that may be linked to the gases.

Tests recently released by the CPSC of 51 homes confirmed that the presence of hydrogen sulfide is the essential component that causes copper and silver sulfide corrosion found in Chinese drywall homes.

The lawsuits currently pending in the multidistrict litigation include an omnibus class action lawsuit filed last week against Knauf Plasterboard Tainjin Co. Ltd. and 600 other defendants.  As we reported previously, that lawsuit involves  nearly 2100 plaintiffs, and names New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton as the lead plaintiff.

The first trials in the Chinese drywall litigation are expected to begin in January.  The first trial against Knauf will start in March 2010.

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