Suing for Chinese drywall issues possible, difficult

An article was recently published online that points out the difficulties homeowners with Chinese drywall face because of the dearth of information and policy to attack the faulty wallboard with. While Louisiana law does provide some manners in which litigation may move forward, there is not as much there as there could be. Previous legislation efforts proposed recently would have aided this matter.

A summation of legal angles on the matter include various different manners in which the law may be used but would require a skilled lawyer with the right case and information:

Right now, according to the Business Report, Louisiana homeowners can sue for defective drywall under the state’s Home Warranty Act. But under that law, there’s strict timetable for what is covered under warranty based on when the lawsuit is filed and when the home was built. If drywall problems were not immediately identifiable shortly after a house was built, that avenue of relief could be closed to them, the Business Report said.

Homeowners might also have recourse under the Louisiana Products Liability Act. But under that law, homeowners must be able to prove a strong scientific basis for their claim that a product is defective, the Business Report said. That generally means hiring experts and conducting tests to prove the drywall was defective.

A federal or state law that assumed the burden of proof would eliminate that need. As we reported earlier this year, such a law was proposed in Louisiana by state Sen. Julie Quinn, a Metairie Republican. The proposed law would have allowed homeowners to sue for 100 percent of their damages, plus attorneys fees from either the manufacturer, distributor, or seller of the contaminated drywall. Critics had claimed that the litigation allowed under the proposal could bankrupt some businesses. Others asserted that it isn’t fair to sue those companies who didn’t know the materials they purchased from China were toxic. The measure was eventually dropped.

It is important that, should you believe Chinese drywall is in your home, homeowners take action to jump as quickly as possible on the matter and move forward in collecting information and contacting the builders/contractors involved, as well as a medical professional. By being on top of the matter and not letting anything slip through the cracks, homeowners can give themselves their best chances of seeing a positive outcome from this matter.

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