In a sign of progress for those homeowners who have found themselves buried under the burden of defective Chinese drywall installed in their home, recent court rulings have shown a lot of hope. The federal judge in charge of consolidating and creating a general premise for rulings involving the faulty imported wallboard, Judge Eldon Fallon, has found in favor of homeowners in a variety of locales. This is a marked improvement of where those who own affected property found themselves for the past years that the faulty material has been a problem and demonstrates that hope may be around the corner.
The Herald Tribune reports the ruling has yielded a quality judgment for the plaintiffs
A couple affected by the drywall – Tatum and Charlene Hernandez of Mandeville, La. – are entitled to $164,000, plus attorneys’ fees and court costs.That money includes about $5,400 to pay the Hernandez family for damaged personal property and close to $20,000 to pay for somewhere to live while the repairs are made.
This ruling is progress for the homeowners and provides a roadmap for recovery that begins to approach the problems that the imported wallboard have provided. The article goes further to detail the ruling, stating
U.S. District Court Judge Eldon E. Fallon, who is overseeing the massive combined Chinese drywall litigation in New Orleans, ruled that:
A couple affected by the drywall – Tatum and Charlene Hernandez of Mandeville, La. – are entitled to $164,000, plus attorneys’ fees and court costs. That money includes about $5,400 to pay the Hernandez family for damaged personal property and close to $20,000 to pay for somewhere to live while the repairs are made.
Their house is to be gutted down to the studs – replacing all drywall.
Ductwork, the entire electrical system, all copper and silver components and the heating-and-cooling system are to be replaced.
All damaged appliances and consumer electronics are to be replaced as well.
Fallon’s decision on the Hernandez home, and his earlier findings on a Virginia case, may set a standard that could help thousands of other homeowners, including many in the Sarasota area and elsewhere in Florida.
This ruling seems to make a clear indication that defective property is the key element of this case and provides those affected a variety of assistance. That the ruling goes so far as to cover appliances and electronics means that the judgment covers almost everything that property owners could hope for in the matter.
What does not appear to be clear is the elements of personal damage and the effects the faulty wallboard has had on the health of those living in the homes. The basis of product defects is complicated and can be better understood through our sister blog’s section detailing Product defect, located here. In general, product defects deal with three major issues: manufacturing defects, dealing with product imperfection occurring during the manufacturing process; design defects, dealing with product design; failure to warn, or marketing defects, deals with a failure to warn users of product problems or non-obvious dangers.
While Fallon holds a lot of control over the proceedings, the rulings will likely be appealed. What’s important is that the trial, to this point, has indicated positive things for those wishing to prosecute the distributors and manufacturers that have brought Chinese drywall into the homes of many. An experienced attorney is essential when dealing with matters such as this and hiring the right one is crucial for getting the judgment you deserve.