The lawyers for plaintiffs announced that a global settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit involving all drywall imported to the U.S. from China. The lawsuit claims that Chinese drywall causes property damage, including damange to fixtures, electrical wiring, corrosion of pipes, and damage to or destruction of air conditioners, HVAC systems, refrigerators, and other appliances. Some people have also claimed that they suffered bodily injury as a result of exposure to Chinese drywall.
The companies being sued are distributors, suppliers, builders, developers, and installers who were associated with Chinese drywall. Some of these companies and some of these insurance companies have agreed to a settlement. The participating defendants and participating insurers to this settlement deny they did anything wrong.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs said this settlement addresses a range of claims that people may have about Chinese drywall — whether they are homeowners, renters, developers, homeowner associations, or others who have sustained losses. And in combination with the resolution of other class action lawsuits, it will ensure that people are compensated through cash payments and/or removal and replacement of the Chinese drywall that caused damage.
Individuals and businesses are class memebers and likely included in the settlement if they have any claim for property damage or personal injuries related to Chinese drywall that was installed anywhere in the U.S., except for in Virginia. More information about the type of damage caused by Chinese drywall, including pictures of the included drywall and damage the lawsuit claims it causes, can be found at the settlement website.
Currently, there is not a claims process for this settlement. At a later date, the Court will approve a plan to distribute benefits to class members. At that time, class members may receive payments for their damages or replacement of their drywall.
Some class members will have received a notice in the mail about the settlement, and do not have to do anything to stay in the class. For those who did not receive a notice in the mail, they must register to receive future updates about the settlement, including when a claims process is available. Class members can register at this website by completing the online registration form, or by calling 1-877-418-8087.
Class members have a choice of whether or not to stay in the class. If class members choose to stay in the class, they will be legally bound by all orders and judgments of the Court, and they will not be able to sue, or continue to sue, the defendants for the issues involved in this lawsuit.
Class members that do not wish to be included in the settlement can ask to be excluded from the class. If they exclude themselves, they will keep any rights to sue the participating defendants for these claims, now or in the future, and will not be bound by any orders or judgments of the Court. Class members must exclude themselves in writing by September 28, 2012.
Categories: Class Actions of Interest