Louisiana Family Wins Chinese Drywall Lawsuit
On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Eldon E. Fallon made his second ruling in a series of defective Chinese drywall cases which he is overseeing. His ruling awarded a Louisiana family $164,000 plus attorneys’ fees and court costs to cover the damage their house sustained as a result of the Chinese drywall. The damage award includes approximately $5,400 to cover damaged personal property and $20,000 to cover the cost of a place to live while the house is repaired.
Judge Fallon ruled that the house must be gutted down to the studs so that all drywall can be replaced. Other items in the house that must be replaced include:
- Electrical system
- All copper and silver components
- Heating-and-cooling system
- Damaged appliances and consumer electronics
The ruling in this case is fairly consistent with Fallon’s previous decision earlier this month when he awarded $2.6 million to seven Virginia homeowners. These two verdicts have set the tone for all future Chinese drywall litigation, making it clear that extensive repairs on the part of the drywall manufacturer should be expected.
The bulk of the trial proceedings focused on the extent of remediation that would be necessary to adequately repair the house. The family’s attorney argued that the home would need to be gutted entirely, resulting in approximately $200,000 in costs. The drywall manufacturer disagreed, claiming many components, including wiring, plumbing, and air-conditioning, could remain, lowering the cost of repairs to roughly $58,000. As with his previous ruling, Judge Fallon approved the rather extensive list of plaintiff repair requests.
There was another important component to this ruling. Attorneys’ fees were awarded, preventing the homeowner from having to pay for these costs out of the funds earmarked for home repairs.
Currently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has received more than 3,000 reports of homes damaged by defective Chinese drywall. Many experts believe that these figures do not reflect the true extent of the problem experienced by homeowners across America.
Written by Andrew Martin: professional blogger and guru of misfortune.