Chinese Drywall Round-Up

There have been a number of media stories on the imported drywall (otherwise known as Chinese drywall) issue in recent days. Here’s a quick synopsis. A story in today’s New York Times by Leslie Wayne reports that hundreds of drywall-related lawsuits are piling up in state and federal courts and a consolidated class action is moving forward in Federal District Court in Louisiana that will begin hearing cases in January. Meanwhile, an article in today’s Miami Herald by Beatrice Garcia and Nirvi Shah underscores the point that homeowners are unlikely to find coverage for Chinese drywall issues under homeowners insurance policies because of exclusions for pollution, contamination damage or problems stemming from construction defect. A September 28 article in the Baton Rouge Advocate by Cain Burdeau reported on how Chinese drywall manufacturers may ignore drywall-related lawsuits pending in U.S. courts. A recent report by Swiss Re provides an excellent overview of the claims, exposure and defense issues  surrounding imported drywall. In particular, it notes that U.S. claimants may have little recourse against manufacturers due to numerous hurdles to a successful lawsuit against foreign manufacturers.

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