The South Florida Business Journal reports that Judge Fallon, in charge of handling the pre-trial MDL issues in New Orleans, Louisiana, has held one of the Chinese manufacturers in default judgment for not responding to the class action lawsuit filed against them. The order comes as Plaintiffs look to find out what legal options they have for overseas defendants who refuse to respond to the class actions filed against them. The article notes
A Louisiana federal judge has declared Chinese company Taishan Gypsum Co. – one of the largest manufacturers of contaminated Chinese drywall imports – in default in a class action lawsuit.
U.S. District Court Judge Eldon Fallon’s order holds the company in default for failing to respond to the lawsuit.
The default ruling has the potential to heighten the international tension in the unfolding drywall case, said Miami attorney Ervin Gonzalez, of Colson Hicks Eidson.
“The bottom line is: If you want to do business in the U.S., you have to hold companies accountable,” said Gonzalez, co-chairman of the trial committee for multidistrict court panel that is coordinating the federal drywall litigation. “If they’re not willing to appear in a court of the U.S., you shouldn’t be able to do business here.”
At least one national legal group said the ruling is an example of why new federal legislation is needed to hold foreign manufacturers accountable.
Such stern responses to those defendants refusing to honor courts in the nations they do business is an appropriate and positive response for those who have filed suit looking for compensation for the faulty wallboard those same defendants imported. Fallon has done a great job in controlling the tempo of pre-trial proceedings and this is a step forward in handling the matter so that Plaintiffs and Defendants alike can have their day in court.