U.S. District Judge Approves Chinese Drywall Settlement


Drywall is often used in the construction of interior walls and ceilings. Florida is the top user of drywall material in the country followed by Louisiana. Although drywall has been used in the country for many years, there is controversy over the defective Chinese drywall that has been used in the past. According to a recent report released by news-press.com; a federal judge approved a five class-action settlement that called for a Chinese drywall manufacturer to pay for damaged caused by the product.

The report revealed that the drywall material produced by the Chinese manufacturer was used in the construction of 12,000 to 20,000 homes and businesses following a series of hurricanes in 2005. In addition, the drywall product was also used prior to the housing bubble burst. The product caused several problems ranging from a foul smell to deterioration of pipes and wiring. Southwest Florida, based on the report was even tagged as the epicenter of the Chinese drywall problem. There are approximately 1,500 homes affected in this area alone.

Richard Kampf of Cape Coral Properties led a grass-roots group of more than 350 Chinese drywall homeowners. He believes that the settlement has been long overdue. Cape Coral property owners who are affected by the defective drywall are expecting to get their homes fixed.

U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon order certified settlements for Interior/Exterior Building Supply, LP; Banner; L&W Supply Corp.; Knauf and Global participating builders, dealers and installers. After Fallon's settlement ruling, Arnold Levin, the plaintiffs' attorney was delighted that the court has issued an order. He is hopeful that the homeowners will now be able to get their homes fixed in a timely manner.

According to Levin, the settlement, which is a reported estimate over $1 billion, will benefit more than 10,000 property owners. Knauf has agreed to create an uncapped fund to compensate for repairing approximately 5,200 properties in Florida and other areas like Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

There will be a separate fund capped at $30 million that will compensate the homeowners and business owners for other types of losses, which include those who have suffered health problems due to the Chinese drywall. In addition, attorneys' fees and costs paid by Knauf are capped at $160 million. This portion will not be deducted from homeowners' shares of the settlement amount.
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