There is a proposed settlement in the Chinese drywall MDL that may resolve thousands of lawsuits that have been filed over defective drywall.
The deal announced Thursday has Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. – a German Company – agreeing to pay approximately $1 billion to create an uncapped fund to pay for repairing some 4,500 properties, mostly in southern states like Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. This settlement also includes a $30 million will fund to pay people who claim health-related consequences from the defective drywall.
Our law firm handles only personal injury cases. We did not get involved because the claims were largely – although not exclusively – property damage claims. The billion-dollar number is an incredibly big number. I have regrets.
History of Chinese Dry Wall Lawsuits
Chinese drywall is a type of building material that was used in many homes in the United States between 2001 and 2009. It was later discovered that the drywall contained high levels of sulfur compounds that could cause health problems and damage to homes. As a result, many homeowners filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of the drywall, which were primarily based in China.
The first lawsuits related to Chinese drywall were filed in 2008 in Florida. As more homeowners reported problems with the drywall, additional lawsuits were filed in other states, including Louisiana, Virginia, and Texas. The lawsuits alleged that the Chinese drywall was defective and that the manufacturers were liable for damages, including the cost of repairing or replacing affected homes.
In 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) launched an investigation into the Chinese drywall issue. The investigation found that the drywall emitted high levels of sulfur compounds, which caused health problems and damage to homes. The CPSC also issued a recall of the Chinese drywall in 2009, but it was difficult to enforce because… most of the manufacturers were located in China well beyond the CPSC’s reach.
Several settlements have been reached in lawsuits related to Chinese drywall. In 2010, Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin (KPT), one of the largest manufacturers of Chinese drywall, agreed to a settlement with homeowners that included a remediation plan for affected homes, as well as compensation for damages. The settlement was valued at over $1 billion.
Taishan Gypsum and Shandong Taihe Dongxin Settlements
In 2011, another settlement was reached with several other Chinese drywall manufacturers, including Taishan Gypsum and Shandong Taihe Dongxin. The settlement included a fund of $248 million to pay for repairs to affected homes and compensation for homeowners who had suffered damages as a result of the defective drywall.
Other settlements have been reached with various builders, suppliers, and insurers who were involved in the construction and sale of homes that contained Chinese drywall. These settlements have ranged from several hundred thousand dollars to several million dollars, depending on the extent of the damages and the number of homes affected.
Overall, the settlements related to Chinese drywall have provided some relief for homeowners who have been affected by the defective building material. However, the total cost of repairing or replacing affected homes is estimated to be in the billions of dollars, and many homeowners are still struggling to recover from the financial and health impacts of the Chinese drywall problem.