A class action filed by Louisiana homeowners against Chinese companies over allegedly defective drywall have reached a $248 million settlement to resolve the dispute. The class of homeowners and Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd., which formerly conducted business as Shandong Taihe Dongxin Co. Ltd. and Taian Taishan Plasterboard Co. Ltd., told the court they have reached a deal that will see the claims resolved against the drywall maker as well as other defendants, including Beijing New Building Materials Public Ltd. Co. and affiliated entities.
The settlement calls for a $24.8 million payment within 30 days of the court’s approval, to be followed by a $148 million payment within 60 days and a final $74 million installment no more than 120 days after the initial OK.
The drywall at issue entered the U.S. in the early- and mid-2000s during a shortage of building materials caused by a housing boom and reconstruction following Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Residents of the Gulf Coast and East Coast, where most of the drywall ended up, began to experience foul smells, corroded metal objects and broken appliances and electrical devices. Many also reported feeling sick and blamed it on the drywall.
The case is In re Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, case number 2:09-md-02047, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
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