Knauf, Plaintiffs Agree to Settlements in Chinese Drywall Cases

June 23, 2010

A couple of cases related to damages caused by defective Chinese-manufactured drywall have reached settlement in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana.

According to a court document signed by Judge Eldon E. Fallon, defendant Knauf Plasterboard Co. (Tianjin) Ltd. and plaintiffs Paul Clement and Celeste Schexnaydre Clement, and plaintiff John Campbell, have compromised on a settlement in cases involving damage to their homes from drywall manufactured in a plant owned by Knauf in Tianjin.

The terms of the settlement were not revealed.

The cases are among many brought against homebuilders, developers, installers, realtors, brokers, suppliers, importers, exporters, distributors, and manufacturers from China, which was widely imported into the United States between 2004 and 2006.

Because of the commonality of facts in the various cases, litigation concerning the faulty drywall was designated as multidistrict litigation (MDL). In June 2009 all federal cases were consolidated and assigned to the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana.

In late April, Fallon found Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd. liable for the cost associated with removing the faulty drywall, replacing appliances and furniture, and completely remediating the home of Tatum and Charlene Hernandez of Mandeville, La., and assessed an amount of $164,000. A settlement was subsequently agreed upon in that case.

On April 8, Fallon awarded seven plaintiffs $2.6 million in a case involving a different Chinese drywall manufacturer, Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd.

The current settlement was made in Paul Clement & Celeste Schexnaydre Clement v. Knauf Plasterboard (Tianjin) Co. Ltd (KPT), Case No. 09-7628 and John Campbell v. Knauf Plasterboard (Tianjin) Co. Ltd (KPT), Case No. 09-7628.

As a result of the agreement, Fallon ordered a partial dismissal of the cases. If the settlement is completed “within a reasonable time,” the cases will be dismissed, according to the court document.

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