Is Chinese Drywall Settlement Coming?Aug 23, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP
A settlement could be near for those thousands of homeowners embroiled in defective Chinese drywall lawsuits, said NewsPress.com. Federal Judge Eldon Fallon scheduled the mediation—which will include some key plaintiffs and defendants—for tomorrow, NewsPress.com added.
Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd. (KPT), one of the defective drywall manufacturers and some homebuilders, suppliers, and insurers are also expected to be present, said NewsPress.com. Names of other involved parties are not expected to be released.
Fallon, who presides over some 10,000 federal and state cases consolidated in multidistrict litigation in New Orleans stressed at his August litigation update that he is expecting the involved parties to make significant settlement headway, wrote NewsPress.com.
Judge Fallon has already ruled for homeowners in two prior test cases, ordering KPT and another manufacturer to remediate the homes, which involves a gutting of the structures and a rebuild of the interiors, said Bradenton.com previously.
Finalizing a deal would be long-awaited and welcome relief to those homeowners who have been forced to deal with the drywall debacle for two years, said NewsPress.com, which noted that many of these homeowners have been forced to live in homes they feel are unlivable because they simply cannot afford to finance more housing. Sadly, some homeowners have been forced into foreclosure.
Since late 2008, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has received more than 3,000 reports from residents in 37 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico regarding defective 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.
The CPSC says the only way to fix Chinese drywall homes is to remove both the wallboard and the electrical wiring and other components, which typically involves essentially gutting the homes.
The drywall was mostly brought into this country between 2004 and 2008, noted NewsPress.com.
We recently wrote that even more companies than previously thought knew about tainted Chinese drywall as early as 2006, but kept quiet about its problems. According to a prior ProPublica report, these firms didn’t even make their knowledge public in 2008, when homeowners first began complaining about the smelly wallboard.