Chinese drywall a delicate legal issue

In an article that further outlines why a lawyer is necessary for settling Chinese drywall matters, the Business Report recently outlined Louisiana’s battle against the faulty wallboard and the complex legal issues surrounding liability. Given that the product is imported and suppliers and contractors will claim to have been unaware as to its faultiness or toxic state, getting a resolution may be nearly impossible for most homeowners:

It’s unclear how many Louisiana residents have been affected by Chinese drywall, says Ray Kothe of Kothe Contracting and Construction Management and chairman of the National Association of Builders Chinese Drywall Taskforce. He had heard from a handful of Baton Rouge residents, but most homeowners that have been affected are in New Orleans and on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain.

But Louisiana homeowners with Chinese drywall might have problems proving their case without a federal- or state-sponsored measure to assume burden of proof, says David Nelson, a partner with Kean Miller who specializes in construction litigation. One such measure, authored by Sen. Julie Quinn, a Metairie Republican, and dropped during the legislative session, would have allowed homeowners to sue builders, suppliers and manufacturers for any damages related to Chinese drywall, including both replacement of drywall in the home and health-care issues that might develop.

“From a practical standpoint, the ability to prove those things in the absence of this bill is much more harmful because I then have the burden of proving that this sheetrock you have sold me is in fact defective,” Nelson says. “The difference this law makes is that’s already been met. I don’t have to go out and hire experts to prove your product is defective.”

This article, available in full here, further demonstrates how residents of the Gulf Coast must continue contacting their representatives to get legislation necessary for a financial resolution to be passed in order for people to have their homes fixed. It also further outlines how necessary an attorney is to get these companies to pay for the flawed product they put in peoples homes.

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