A Chinese drywall maker will face consumer claims that its product caused health problems, property damage and odor, a federal judge ruled Monday.
Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. is facing numerous claims from consumers, who say that the company’s faulty drywall emits high levels of hydrogen sulfide gas. The gas not only smells of rotten eggs, but also can corrode electrical wiring and cause respiratory and skin problems.
Taishan argued that it was not subject to U.S. jurisdiction, but U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon ruled that the company did indeed conduct business in several U.S. states. Fallon previously awarded $2.6 million in damages to seven families who complained. On Monday, he also rejected Taishan’s request to vacate the default judgment, which he issued after Taishan Gypsum failed to appear in court.
Consumers have been fighting legal battles over defective drywall for years, especially in states such as Florida and Louisiana, which used large quantities of drywall after a housing boom and several damaging hurricane seasons. Just last year, Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin, a German maker of Chinese drywall, paid $800 million to settle homeowners’ claims that faulty drywall contaminated their homes.
Read more at Thomson Reuters.
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