Federal Judge Eldon E. Fallon has okayed a massive settlement that will cover thousands of houses whose value was degraded by sulfurous emissions seeping out of contaminated Chinese-made drywall into the indoor air, according to an Associated Press report.
Fallon had determined years ago that the contaminated Chinese product was defective and was responsible for extensive damage to wiring, sensitive electronics, and metal finishes in thousands of buildings (see “ Federal Judge Rules for Homeowners in Chinese Drywall Trial,” Coastal Contractor 4/1/2010). In a later step, the judge okayed a preliminary proposal for remediation of damaged houses, and established a pilot program to fix some houses in order to nail down the real-world costs and practicality of the repair prescription (see “ Chinese Drywall Update: Remediation Set to Start in Pilot Program,” Coastal Contractor 2/1/2011). In early 2012, global building-materials conglomerate Knauf, which is based in Germany, agreed to fund a repair program for more than 4,000 houses at a cost ranging from $8.50 to $10 a square foot (see “ Knauf Settles with Chinese Drywall Homeowners,” Coastal Contractor 1/2012). Now that Judge Fallon has given his blessing to the arrangement, work can proceed in earnest to repair thousands of houses.
The Washington Post carries the story here (“ Judge approves 5 class-action settlements in Chinese drywall case”). “Fallon’s order certified settlements for Interior/Exterior Building Supply, LP; Banner; L&W Supply Corp.; Knauf and Global participating builders, suppliers and installers,” reports the Post.
As of Monday, details of the Judge’s order had not yet appeared on the special Chinese Drywall web page hosted at the site of the U.S. District Court (Louisiana Eastern District). But the site contains a full historic record of orders and documents relevant to the Chinese drywall litigation, and will likely be updated soon with copies of the settlement order.