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Category : Chinese Drywall
The Honorable Judge Eldon E. Fallon of the U.S. Eastern District Court, New Orleans, Louisiana, announced on Friday that Seeger Weiss LLP and the other members of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, along with defendant Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin (KPT) had proposed a settlement in the toxic Chinese drywall case affecting thousands of American families. The victims in the case, who own close to 5,000 properties, alleged that German manufacturer Knauf sold defective drywall that was installed in their homes. The toxic ingredients in the faulty imported products caused the plaintiffs a host of problems, ranging from the corrosion of plumbing and electrical systems to respiratory problems and other physical injuries. The final settlement, which will cover remediation of the affected properties and claims of personal injury and equity loss, is expected to be between $800 million and $1 billion. Read more about the groundbreaking settlement.
For Seeger Weiss LLP, the victory is one of many in a long and complicated battle against Knauf on behalf of several homeowners who have fallen victim to the manufacturer’s defective product. In 2009, founding partner Christopher Seeger along with Stephen J. Herman of Herman, Herman, Katz & Cotlar became the first to take KPT, a division of Knauf, to trial. In the bellwether verdict, the plaintiffs were awarded $164,049. Since then, Mr. Seeger has gone on to win close to $3 million for other victims of the toxic drywall.
Seeger Weiss continues to investigate toxic Chinese drywall claims. Our defective products practice has the expertise and the track record you need to settle your claims. Learn more about our Chinese drywall investigation here.
The homebuilder for Overlook Point subdivision might be required to fix four homes contaminated with Chinese drywall, a state review board has ruled.
Homeowner Psyche Page, who lives in Overlook Point in one of the four homes covered by the case, said for the first time, she’s encouraged by the government’s response.
“Patience is a virtue. It’s taken a long time, but we have to persevere,” Page said.
Since 2009, homeowners in Hampton Roads have been dealing the effects from toxic gases released by the drywall. The gases have corroded electrical systems, damaged appliances and air conditioners, and caused many homeowners to complain of “rotten eggs” smells and health problems.
Relief organizations whose volunteers built or repaired hundreds of damaged houses after Hurricane Katrina have found they installed toxic Chinese drywall in more than 200 buildings, requiring hundreds of low-income families to move out for months while the houses are gutted anew and rebuilt.
For many families, it’s a return to stress, dislocation and helplessness more than five years after the storm — and long after they thought their ordeal was over.
And for relief organizations, which have decided to shoulder the full cost of millions of dollars in repairs, doubling back to gut and rebuild old homes is a major budget setback that cuts into their future work.
Interior/Exterior Building Supply Ltd. of Louisiana agreed to pay $8 million cash and assign $72 million in insurance rights to resolve claims by thousands of U.S. property owners whose homes were ruined by defective Chinese drywall.
In 2005 and 2006, InEx bought more than 500,000 pieces of drywall from units of the Knauf Group and other Chinese manufacturers. The products allegedly contained chemicals that released foul-smelling gases and corroded wiring and appliances which homeowners were forced to rip out and replace.
InEx’s primary insurers, Arch Insurance Co. and Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., each agreed to pay $4 million cash toward the claims. InEx assigned claimants its rights to pursue an additional $72 million in excess insurance coverage from North River Insurance Co., according to the court papers.
A settlement has been reached with Interior/Exterior Building Supply LP, the New Orleans company that distributed the Knauf-brand imported Chinese drywall from Texas to Alabama, and its insurers, potentially putting money in the hands of beleaguered homeowners.
Under the deal, which is still subject to court approval, Interior/Exterior’s two primary insurers will put up the $8 million limit of their insurance policies to compensate homeowners. Later this year, the plaintiffs will proceed to trial against Interior/Exterior’s excess insurers, who have another $72 million in coverage.
U.S. District Court Judge Eldon Fallon is expected to announce details at this morning’s previously scheduled monthly status conference in the Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation that has been consolidated in New Orleans. The hearing began about 9:15 a.m. Fallon presides over more than 10,000 cases in the litigation.
The drywall saga continues: A Consumer Product Safety Commission report says some products believed to be made in the USA have the same issues as tainted Chinese drywall. Trouble is, the agency can’t confirm it’s really American-made, according to a report from the non-profit investigative journalism enterprise ProPublica.
“It’s a shame, because so many resources have been spent on Chinese drywall problems, and the CPSC was unable to move forward with that because the perpetrators were in China and unreachable,” said Gilbert, who is now a partner with the law firm Cuneo, Gilbert & LaDuca, which represents some of the nearly 100 homeowners who are suing National Gypsum. “Here you have a situation where there is a problem and American companies could be pursued by CPSC, but they have chosen to cut the investigation short.”
The CPSC’s report on American drywall is the latest in a string of government reports and announcements that have confused and disappointed families who say their homes have been contaminated by defective drywall.
Her home was the first of an estimated 300 to be repaired in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana as part of a pilot program announced last year by Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin, one of the largest makers of Chinese drywall. …”It’s finally over with,” she said. “I have my house back.”
Reeves said the revelation of the defective drywall was a heavy blow for many of his clients after the trauma the hurricane brought. The uncertainty about whether they’ll be paid and what they’ll do in the meantime sends many into tears.
As one of the main attorneys involved in the class action, Reeves said he knows of no one in Mississippi being compensated yet. The complicated court case moves forward.
“It’s a really bad situation,” Reeves said. “We have got to get them some relief. We’re going to press hard until they get it.”