Chinese Drywall Suits Consolidated

Judge Eldon E. Fallon of the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana will oversee the thousands of lawsuits brought over allegedly defective drywall made in China.

A special panel on multi-district litigation ordered on June 15 that the cases be consolidated in the federal court in Louisiana, according to one of the lawyers representing plaintiff homeowners.

“This is the largest construction defect case in the history of the United States and consumers need help now,” said Ervin A. Gonzalez, of the Miami law form, Colson, Hicks, Eidson. “By consolidating the cases, the court will allow for the more efficient and effective handling of these claims. Ultimately it should reduce the expense involved in litigating the cases and should promote global resolutions of these claims.”

Homeowners from Florida, Virginia and other states are suing developers, distributors and manufacturers of Chinese drywall, claiming that the product emits a corrosive gas that damages electrical systems and causes respiratory illness. The lawsuits claim that the only solution is to “gut” the homes and remove the toxic drywall down to the studs.

Gonzalez predicts the total number of lawsuits could reach 100,000.

Congress has also been investigating the drywall.