Well, you knew it was only a matter of time. Anyone who saw or read about the CPSC report regarding the many problems in new houses constructed with imported Chinese drywall could see the federal lawsuit coming. And here it is, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans against Knauf Plasterboard Tainjin Co. Ltd. The class of plaintiffs in this suit is comprised of over 2,100 people seeking relief from KPT's (allegedly) defective drywall.
As reported by the CPSC, homeowners with imported drywall in many southern states where new construction boomed after Hurricane Katrina, have had both problems with health issues such as head and breathing problems and property damage from corroding pipes and wires. KPT is dealing with litigation specifically in states like Louisiana, Florida and Alabama, because their drywall was imported only though Louisiana and Florida ports. There are other manufacturers of drywall believed to be causing problems in homes in 32 other states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
The lead plaintiff in this class action just happens to be New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, who behaved like a lawyer's dream client when he began having problems in with his home and family's health he believed was linked to the drywall. According to a report by ABC Action News, Payton and his family moved out of their home, built in 2005, and then took it apart. They took photos of the disassembled pieces as evidence and stored the components in a warehouse where KPT could inspect them.
Other cases are proceeding as well. In Virginia, action against Taishan Gyspum, a Chinese company that also manufactured problematic drywall is scheduled for early 2010. The lead counsel in the KPT case, Russ Herman, says an additional six hundred people were too late to be included in the federal suit in Louisiana, but he plans to include them in another complaint he will file overseas.
You can get information about issues with Chinese drywall by going to the CPSC Drywall Information Center found at: http://www.cpsc.gov/info/drywall/index.html