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$2.6 Million Judgement for Plaintiffs in First Chinese Drywall Trial | cialis online

$2.6 Million Judgement for Plaintiffs in First Chinese Drywall Trial

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A Federal judge has awarded a group of Chinese drywall homeowners $2.6 million. The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Eldon E. Fallon is the first to come out of the Chinese drywall multidistrict litigation (MDL) currently underway in New Orleans.

The main defendant in this case, Taishan Gypsum Co., never responded to lawsuits and did not have a lawyer present for the trial. Civil judgments in U.S. courts aren’t enforced in China. Plaintiffs lawyers have said in the past that they would seek to seize Taishan Gypsum’s U.S.-bound vessels and shipments if it continues to ignore lawsuits.

So far, only one Chinese manufacturer — Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. — has responded to U.S. suits. A separate trial naming Knauf as a defendant was held before Judge Fallon last month. His decision in that case is still pending.

The trial against Taishan Gypsum was considered a “bellwether” or test case, and the decision could affect how lawsuits by thousands of other homeowners are settled.

In his ruling, Judge Fallon wrote that Chinese drywall “has a significantly higher average concentration of strontium and significantly more detectable levels of elemental sulfur” than U.S.-made drywall, and that the “level of corrosive sulfur gases emitted by Chinese drywall … exceed the safe level established by recognized standards, peer reviewed literature.”

“The sulfur gases released by Chinese drywall cause offending odors in homes, making them hard if not impossible to live in,” Judge Fallon said.

In addition to removing the toxic drywall, Judge Fallon’s order calls for the removal of all electrical wiring, the entire HVAC system, and many other items such as appliances, carpet, cabinetry, trim work and flooring. His ruling goes further than remediation guidelines released earlier this month by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The Judge also ruled that the plaintiffs were entitled to damages for the cost of personal property damaged by the drywall gases, relocation costs, and loss of use and enjoyment of the home.

Judge Fallon’s ruling covered only property damage and did not look at possible health effects. According to the Associated Press, the first cases with medical claims won’t be considered by the court until late 2010 or early 2011.

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