Judge awards $2.6 million in Chinese drywall case
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
A federal judge in Louisiana ruled last week that Chinese drywall manufacturer Taishan Gypsum Co. must pay $2.6 million to fix the homes of seven Virginia families in one of the first key decisions in the growing contaminated drywall litigation. And if the decision is a harbinger of what’s to come, this is going to be one expensive case – some 2,100 people have filed claims nationwide.
The issue is Chinese-made drywall that homeowners say exudes sulfur fumes so noxious they have damaged wiring, plumbing, heat ducts and other metal home components. It’s unclear how many of the claims involve Californians, but the federal government said it has received more than 3,000 complaints from 37 states. One lawyer estimates the number of claims could reach 40,000.
Most of the offending drywall seems to have been used in new home construction, and the fix is not easy. In effect, government officials say, homes must be gutted and the corroded metals replaced — which means removing all the interior drywall, replacing the electric, heating and plumbing systems, then putting up new, non-sulfur emitting drywall.
Talk about your extreme home makeover.