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Chinese drywall settlement 'fairness' hearing ends without immediate ruling

Nov. 15, 2012

A two-day “fairness” hearing on a massive Chinese drywall settlement concluded in New Orleans without an immediate ruling by the federal judge overseeing thousands of consolidated drywall cases.

Judge Eldon Fallon heard lawyers for both sides argue the pros and cons of the proposed settlement, which could be worth more than $1 billion. The overall settlement agreement is led by Chinese drywall manufacturer Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin, and includes related settlements involving other defendants, such as drywall suppliers and installers.

The plaintiffs are thousands of homeowners who discovered that their homes, built with Chinese drywall that was imported into the U.S. mostly between 2004 to 2008, had a foul smell and emitted sulfer compounds that corroded everything from air conditioning coils to appliances and other metal surfaces.

Many homeowners also complained of health problems from respiratory problems to nosebleeds.

Meanwhile, a Cape Coral couple were awarded $6,000 Nov. 7 in a drywall jury trial in Lee County Circuit Court. Michael and Skye Honus sued Cape Cement and Supply, claiming the company was responsible for drywall-related damages to their home.

The drywall has been found in 41 states and Puerto Rico.

Florida has the most homes with the defective drywall, and Lee County is said to be the epicenter of the problem, with at least 1,500 homes affected.

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