Chinese Drywall:

“The way you eat an elephant is one bite at a time,” commented Federal Judge Eldon Fallon. Last month Fallon’s courtroom in New Orleans saw attorneys take one more nibble out of the long-running Chinese drywall problem: Florida building materials supplier Banner Supply agreed to reimburse homeowners $55 million to help cover the cost of fixing houses afflicted with the corrosive product. The Sun Sentinel had the story on June 14 (“ Banner Supply agrees to $55 million Chinese drywall settlement,” by Paul Owers). “The $55 million won’t be enough to repair all the properties supplied by Banner, but lawyers hope other suppliers, installers and builders eventually will settle with homeowners,” the paper reported. “More deals could be announced in the next two months, said Russ Herman, a plaintiff’s lawyer in New Orleans.” Meanwhile, some homeowners in Florida and other states are already seeing relief from an earlier settlement with German building materials mega-corporation Knauf. Biloxi, Mississippi TV station WLOX has the story of one family, Jason and Amanda Taylor and their children, whose Jackson County home has now been fully repaired under the court-ordered pilot home remediation program (“ Chinese drywall nightmare finally over for coast family,” by Doug Walker). It was a great feeling for the Taylor family, who told the station that the experience was “like a new beginning.” But attorney Steve Mullins, who is working in the pilot program as a homeowners’ counsel, was critical of the rate of progress. "Here we are, almost a year out from its announcement, and we're getting two or three done a month," Mullins told the station. "And unless they can get a mechanism to get 30 or 40 done at least, if not hundreds done a month, it's going to fail. It's just too slow."