On April 8, a small amount of good news finally came to a few of the beleaguered homeowners who have been dealing with the real estate and alleged health problems caused by the Chinese drywall their homes are constructed with. Seven Virginia homes will be fixed with the $2.6 million New Orleans U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon ordered Taishan Gypsum Co. to pay to the plaintiffs.
The April 8 ruling is but the tip of the iceberg. As Bloomberg reports, there are more than 2,100 homeowners with suits filed in U.S. federal courts over the problems allegedly caused by Chinese drywall. As extensively discussed in previous blogs, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and other government agencies have been flooded with complaints from homeowners about the chemicals and odors given off by the imported drywall. A range of problems linked to the drywall have been reported including corrosion of wiring, metal materials and appliances throughout homes, as well as complaints about health issues ranging from headaches and nosebleeds to asthma and more serious conditions.
As discussed in a previous post, on April 2, the CPSC in conjunction with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released their recommendations to homeowners whose homes were built with imported Chinese drywall. The CPSC recommendations amount to a major undertaking for these homeowners, suggesting "consumers remove all possible problem drywall from their homes, and replace electrical components and wiring, gas service piping, fire suppression sprinkler systems, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms." For its part, HUD will provide block grants to aid homeowners with paying for these repairs and is encouraging mortgage lenders to provide affected families with some form of loan relief.
Bloomberg reports that Judge Fallon, who is charged with overseeing federal drywall cases nationwide, has said that his ruling in this suit may provide guidance for determining the extent and cost of home repairs required in other defective drywall cases.
The Taishan Gypsum Co. did not contest the suit.