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Product Liability Case May Bring Down Chinese Drywall Company

Federal Judge Eldon Fallon issued a judgment Thursday awarding $2.6 million in damages to seven families affected by faulty drywall manufactured in China. Seven Virginia families filed suit against Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd., a China-based drywall company, beginning in January 2009.

Thousands of homeowners nationwide began filing complaints after the Chinese drywall boom in the U.S. between 2004 and 2007, alleging the drywall Taishan made broke down electrical appliances, corroded metal and emitted strange fumes. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a statement last week with product guidelines that say certain Chinese drywall samples released hydrogen sulfide, a flammable gas that smells like rotten eggs. The commission also said that the gas Chinese drywall released was 100 times greater than from drywall produced by other manufacturers.

Fallon ordered Taishan to pay for relocation arrangements for the affected families for four to six months while the repairs take place. Fallon also told Taishan to replace the drywall, plumbing, ventilation systems, insulation, electrical wiring and flooring in homes that were affected. At this time it is unclear if Taishan will pay the judgment or if they can even be forced to pay under current laws.

Taishan wasn't available for comment and didn't show for any of the court proceedings.

Read the Wall Street Journal's article about the case: "Judge Awards Families $2.6 Million in Chinese Drywall Case"

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