In what may come as good news to some and bad to others, the first Chinese Drywall case may be ruled upon soon. For the unfortunate homeowners stuck in limbo while the pre-trial hearings and litigation was handled, any sort of forward progress is welcome news. However, for the various manufacturers and distributors of the faulty wallboard, a harsh ruling may spell disaster for the industry.
The Fort Myers News-Press reports
The first bellwether trial in the more than 3,000 lawsuits filed across the country regarding the tainted product ended Monday; another starts March 15 in New Orleans.
The lawsuits have been consolidated in that city in federal multidistrict litigation before U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon. What happens will pave the way for future suits.
The first trial was not to determine blame but rather the best fix and how much it will cost.
Fallon has said he will make his ruling soon in the case involving seven Virginia homes vs. Taishan Gypsum Co. of China, which has not responded to lawsuits.
With some experts believing that the cost of liability may be in the billions, and with Chinese manufacturers refusing to pay any ruling made in the United States’ jurisdiction, many companies face what one expert deemed to be a “devastating” bill. Though it is unfortunate that the very producers of the faulty drywall will likely never face financial hardships for the product that has caused damage and sickness to countless families and households, the law in the U.S. dictates a chain of liability that requires justice against those involved with the import of products.
While, again, the situation seems to mirror a dine-and-ditch product import scenario, various distributors and other institutions will be left watching New Orleans closely to find out just how much the bill will be.