Additional 300 Homes to Be Repaired in Knauf Chinese Drywall Settlement

November 21, 2011

A new settlement has been reached with Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin (KPT) over defective drywall manufactured by the company in China.

The Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC), the Homebuilder Steering Committee (HSC) and KPT announced that under a new agreement, KPT will partner with select major homebuilders to repair 200 to 300 homes these builders initially constructed with KPT drywall.

This settlement was developed in direct collaboration with the PSC — attorneys appointed by the court to represent affected homeowners — and the HSC — attorneys appointed to represent builders.

The members of the PSC involved in negotiating the agreement include Arnold Levin of Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman; Russ M. Herman of Herman, Herman, Katz & Cotlar, L.L.P.; and Bruce W. Steckler of Baron & Budd, P.C.

Hillarie Bass of Greenberg Traurig LLP, the chair of the HSC, participated for the HSC.

Steckler says the settlement between homebuilders and entities of the Knauf Group could resolve the claims, mostly in Florida, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, the Associated Press reported. The settlement involves reimbursements to builders for homes that have been fixed or are being repaired now, and others that are in line to be remediated.

Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin (KPT) agreed in October 2010 to participate in a demonstration remediation program in homes that contain drywall manufactured by KPT. The program is funded by KPT and a number of builders, drywall suppliers, including Interior/Exterior Building Supply L.P., and their insurers.

In addition to the homes participating in this new settlement, more than 1,200 homes are progressing through the KPT demonstration remediation program that was announced as part of the Chinese drywall Multi-District Litigation (MDL) out of New Orleans.

Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against homebuilders, developers, installers, realtors, brokers, suppliers, importers, exporters, distributors and manufacturers over drywall 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 MDL. In June 2009 all federal cases were consolidated and assigned to Judge Eldon E. Fallon of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana.

Sources: Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee; Homebuilder Steering Committee; Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin; Associated Press

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