Personal Injury Blog

Chinese Drywall Maker Pays Out On Judgment with Thousands of Claims Remaining

By: Allan M. Siegel

After years of challenging the authority of U.S. Courts, Chinese drywall manufacturer Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd., has paid out on a judgment of $3.2 million to the owners of seven homes in Hampton Roads, Virginia, that had been damaged by the company's toxic drywall. Just last year Taishan had skipped a hearing in New Orleans after the judgment was made final. In response, the U.S. District Court judge held the company in contempt of court and banned it from doing business in the U.S. until the company returned to court. To resolve that matter, Taishan paid an additional fine of $40,000.

The payout on the original judgment is a turning point in the case as approximately 4,000 homeowners in Virginia, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas, can now move forward with their claims against the company. The seven original families were "bellwether" cases, which are a small sample out of a larger group of cases that are tried so the parties will have a better indication of what is likely to happen in future trials on the same issues. These results can often help settle the remaining cases or streamline the litigation process by allowing the parties to focus on trying only certain issues, such as damages. More than 10,000 homeowners had installed the toxic drywall after hurricanes in 2005, and during the nationwide home construction growth prior to the 2008 recession. The defective drywall caused bad or sulfurous smells, damage to appliances, skin irritation and breathing problems, as well as blackening of copper wiring and pipes. Many owners of the homes affected by the toxic drywall were forced to move from their homes or take on costly renovations to repair the damage. A hearing has been set for April 28, 2015 to discuss resolving the damages' claims for the remaining 4,000 homeowners, and damages are likely to exceed $1 billion. Another Chinese drywall maker had settled in 2012 with 4,500 homeowners for approximately $1 billion.

The personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel P.C., know that these types of cases will be more common as more and more products are manufactured outside the United States without the same oversight as goods made in the United States. We have represented countless individuals who have been hurt by the negligence of corporations, and know the importance of having attorneys fighting for you to hold them accountable. If you or someone you loved has been injured as a result of a corporation's negligence, please give us a call for a free consultation.