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Settlement Breakthrough Announced in Chinese Drywall Lawsuits

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There’s been a big breakthrough in the litigation involving Chinese drywall. A settlement announced yesterday involving Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. could eventually lead to resolution of thousands of cases.

Under the proposed settlement, Knauf, along with a group of builders and suppliers, will pay to remediate 300 homes in Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. The remediation program will follow guidelines established by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, which call for the removal of the tainted drywall, ad for replacements made for electrical wiring, appliances including air conditioning, and fixtures damaged by drywall fumes. In addition, homeowners under settlement will receive $8.50 per square foot to cover any additional expenses such as moving costs and temporary housing.

Knauf will hire the contractors to perform the work, and repairs will be inspected by an environmental engineer.

For now, only homes that are proven to contain 95 percent Knauf-made drywall will be eligible for the remediation program. Plaintiff-approved inspectors will soon begin visiting homes to take pictures to prove to Knauf that homeowners belong in the pilot program.

If the Chinese drywall remediation program is successful, a global settlement of Knauf Chinese drywall claims could come next. Thousands of homes could ultimately be eligible for such a program. It’s also hoped that other Chinese drywall manufacturers not party to this settlement will be encouraged to come to similar agreements.

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