Three Chinese drywall companies have agreed to a $248 million settlement with customers, ending 10 years of litigation over allegedly defective drywall.
Manufacturers including Taishan Gypsum Company LTD, Shangdong Taihe Dongxin Co. LTD, and Taian Taishan Plasterboard Co. LTD have agreed to settle with homeowners who claimed that they were negatively affected by defective drywall made by the companies.
Under the terms of the proposed settlement deal, homeowners may be eligible for compensation for damage to property suffered, including property costs, and alternative housing required.
Additionally, for people who allegedly suffered physical injury because of the drywall, compensation may be available for those injuries, along with pain and suffering and emotional distress.
The proposed settlement deal notes that eligible Class Members may not receive full reimbursement for the damages claimed. Eligibility for reimbursement, and the amount that a customer may be reimbursed, will be determined by factors including the amount of drywall in the home, how much if any money has been spent on repairs, and the size of the property affected by the drywall.
A website has not yet been established to notify Class Members of their rights under the drywall class action settlement. However, once the website it up and running, customers can view a spreadsheet to see if they are eligible for benefits.
Class Members will not have to file a claim for benefits if they have already been identified as a known Class Member, but if they believe that they are eligible, they can fill out a Claim Form once the website is active.
The drywall defect multidistrict litigation is the result of numerous drywall class action lawsuits that were combined into one suit. In the drywall class action lawsuits, homeowners say that drywall from the three manufacturers was used to repair homes damaged by Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Katrina.
Allegedly, the Chinese drywall was used because there was a shortage of building materials. The drywall class action lawsuits say the drywall was defective, and caused a range of problems.
The homeowners claim that the drywall emitted a sulfur gas which was released when gypsum in the drywall reacted with other materials in the drywall itself. Allegedly, the sulfur gas caused health problems to homeowners, and caused metal objects in their homes to corrode.
The drywall problems class action lawsuits argues that those residing in homes with the Chinese drywall suffered physically from the sulfur gas, as it made them sick.
Drywall products included in this settlement are:
- BNBM and Dragon Brand
- Chinese Manufacturer #2 (purple stamp)
- Crescent City Gypsum
- IMT Gypsum
- TAIAN TAISHAN and Taihe edge tape
- Venture Supply
- White Edge Tape, boards with no markings or boards with no markings other than numbers or letters
The proposed settlement deal awaits preliminary approval from a judge.
Homeowners are represented by Arnold Levin and Sandra L. Duggan of Levin Sedran & Berman, Richard J. Serpe of the Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe PC, Stephen J. Herman of Herman Herman & Katz LLC, and by Patrick S. Montoya of Colson Hicks Eidson.
The Chinese Drywall Multidistrict Litigation is In re: Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, Case No. 2:09-md-02047-EEF-JCW, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
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