A great editorial published yesterday by the Fort Myers News-Press describes the technical and legal battle that the idea of a drywall recall faces. While recalls of products have a slant towards Chinese-made items (reportedly “60 percent of 475 products recalled per year are Chinese”), the problem with drywall, it seems, is that it is not a distributed item like a toy but, instead, a supply for a future product. While that may seem muddled or confusing, that is the exact point of the piece. Such confusion dominates the very nature of recalls and accountability for said recalls and Chinese drywall is anything but simple.
Mary Wozniak writes
If the toy is made in China and a U.S. company like Mattel is the distributor, the brand-name company will be cooperative, because it wants to maintain its reputation and stay in business, said Marshall Meyer, a professor at Wharton School and a global expert on Chinese business.
How do you recall a product that has been incorporated into your house? asked Scott Weinstein, Fort Myers attorney for Morgan & Morgan. If it’s dog food, you can just take it back to the store, he said.
Overall the matter is a headache but also stands as something of a pioneer case that will show where American law might need to evolve in the future to protect the citizens and their interests, as well as possibly shape trade law. All in all it is a very interesting and complex matter that has a lot of wheels turning in both the legal and commercial sectors.