A tentative settlement was reached earlier this month in a defective products lawsuit involving Florida homeowners and the supplier of Chinese drywall. The settlement amount is a reported $54.5 million dollars, which is to be used to repair Florida homes. It is estimated that between two and three thousand homes have been infiltrated by this defective drywall. The defective products lawsuit was brought after it was discovered that the drywall contained dangerous toxins that were corroding pipes and electrical wiring and giving off foul odors which led to headaches and breathing problems.
Over a Million Sheets of Drywall Sold in Florida
A Miami company, Banner Supply, sold 1.4 million sheets of the defective drywall to various builders throughout the state of Florida. Homeowners will now be compensated due to the corrosive material that was used in their homes. This problem, with Chinese drywall, began to grow in the time after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the southern coast. Chinese drywall was imported into the States in large numbers as the call to rebuild homes grew louder.
Following the discovery of the defective nature of the drywall, countless lawsuits were filed against various distributors, manufacturers, and installers, including Banner Supply. Banner Supply believes that they were lied to about the overall quality of the drywall when they purchased the defective products from Knauf Group, a German distributor. Although Banner and their insurers were forced to pay out for this large settlement, it is foreseeable that they will seek damages from the actual manufacturers and distributors that previously handled these defective products. It is not quite clear who is truly at fault for the defective drywall, it could be the Chinese manufacturer, the German distributor, or the American supplier. In any event, it is a great win for Florida plaintiffs who suffered from the defective drywall. This settlement should allow many homeowners to replace the Chinese drywall in an effort to make their homes a safer place.
Defective Products Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia
If you have recently been injured due to a defective product, it is possible that you have some questions. Please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.
There are currently no laws in place protecting the rights of consumers agaisnt foreign manufacturers. Foreign companies are free to manufacture defective and dangerous products, sell them in America, and suffer no consequences for their actions. But the House Energy and Commerce Committee has recently approved legislation that will finally allow the U.S. to hold foreign manufacturers accountable.
The legislation, called the Foreign Manufacturers Accountability Act, will require that foreign companies have “agents” in at least one state in the U.S. in which the company does business that will accept service of process for civil or regulatory claims. That agent will serve as a sort of liason between foreign corporations and U.S. regulators.
The approval of this legislation is a huge step for product safety in America. As of now, companies like Taishan Gypsum, a Chinese manufacturer of drywall, could produce defective products, sell them in bulk in America, and turn around and never look back. Taishan Gypsum was recently sued by homeowners from the southern United States for drywall that was emitting sulfuric acid. The emissions caused such damage that affected homes had to be demolished and re-erected.
The health implications have not even been addressed yet. Unfortunately, the ruling made against Taishan Gypsum, in the amount of 2.6 million dollars, doesn’t even matter. They are not legally bound to pay that money, nor were they legally responsible to even respond to the suit. Taishan Gypsum was 100% absent during proceedings.
NJ and PA Defective Product Attorneys at the Mininno Law Office
The approval of this legislation will make it much easier to hold foreign manufactures liable for their defective products, and will make consumers affected by defective, foreign products able to receive their due compensation.
If you or a loved one have been negatively affected by a defective product, regardless of where it was made, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free consultation. Our New Jersey and Philadelphia Defective Product Attorneys will work to get you the compensation you deserve.
You can also call at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.
In April, we posted an update of the litigation surrounding the Chinese company Taishan Gypsum, and the defective drywall they manufactured and exported the the United States. Judge Eldon Fallon awarded seven families in the Eastern district of Louisiana 2.6 million dollars for the damages caused them by the sulfuric acid emitting drywall. But because Taishan Gypsum is a foreign manufacturer, and there are currently no laws in place that hold them liable for their defective products, there was question as to whether or not these families would ever see a penny of the money owed them.
Defective Manufacturers Finally React
After not responding to the initial suit, the default judgement made in November by Judge Fallon, or any other attempts U.S. attorneys made at contacting them, Taishan Gypsum has finally made a move. On June 10th, Taishan Gypsum, manufacturer of defective drywall, filed an appeal of Judge Fallon’s ruling. This appeal marks the first time Taishan Gypsum has responded to a lawsuit in the United States. They will appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, including any and all rulings made by Judge Fallon. Judge Fallons 2.6 million dollar award amount comes from a the sum of the costs of all of the demolition and renovation of each of the seven families’ homes.
What to do if You Believe You are a Victim of a Defective Product
Hopefully, justice will be done, and Taishan Gypsum will be forced to provide recoveries to the families whose lives were turned upside down by the defective products they were manufacturing. If you or a loved one have been negatively affected by a defective product, you will need help, and the attorneys at the Mininno Law Office are eager to offer that help. Let us get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free case evaluation, or call us for a free consultation at 856-833-0600 in New Jersey, or 215-567-2380 in Philadelphia.