The ongoing court battle over Chinese drywall rages on as the first lawsuit over the tainted wallboard will be starting soon. Just today, however, Judge Fallon dealt a blow to manufacturer Knauf’s plan to provide air conditioning devices to fix the matter. Doing so means that a quick decision may come over the matter that will have widespread ramifications.
The Virginian-Pilot reports
A federal judge in New Orleans presiding over a lawsuit on local homes built with tainted Chinese-made drywall has ruled against a plan by a manufacturer to use retrofitted air conditioners as a way to help fix the homes.
U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon ruled last week in a preliminary hearing that a plan by Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd. to use the air conditioners was not reliable and that expert testimony about their use would not be considered in the main hearing set to begin today.
The lawsuit involves seven Hampton Roads homes built with drywall from China. The hearing will result in the first federal judicial decision on remediation of such homes and help set the standard for federal drywall trials set to begin in March.
The judge’s decision last week was a legal blow to Knauf, which as a result decided Thursday to withdraw from the hearing, opening the door for a quick decision by the judge on how to remediate the homes.
Any time in which a manufacturer or importer provides a faulty product to consumers, they may be held accountable for the damage it causes. A ruling is still pending on how the problem will be dealt with, as the judge’s dismissal of the air units paves the way for a solution ranging from the complete gutting of homes to selective removal of wallboard and various fixtures.
Obviously this is a highly important decision that will not be ruled upon casually. It still remains to be determined how far reaching the decision will be and how it will affect those overseas companies who refused to respond to the lawsuit. Our blog has closely chronicled the matter for some time and you may find a wide variety of information on the developments of the case here.