Louisiana AG Files Suit Over Chinese Drywall

A Chinese drywall lawsuit has been filed by the Louisiana attorney general against manufacturers and home developers. The lawsuit claims the state of Louisiana has and will continue to suffer economic loss because of the defective Chinese drywall.

Defendants in the suit include Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin, one of the major manufacturers of Chinese drywall. Other international and domestic manufacturers, distributors, and importers of toxic Chinese wallboard are also named as defendants.

Louisiana Attorney General James “Buddy” Caldwell alleges that gases from the drywall are causing health problems, including difficulty breathing, asthma attacks, respiratory problems, coughing, recurring headaches, heart disease, neuron-behavioral problems, sore throats, throat infection, eye irritation, irritated and itchy skin, bloody noses, runny noses, allergic reactions and sinus infections. The lawsuit also claims that the corrosive effects of the drywall on wiring and household appliances is creating potential fire hazards.

The Louisiana Chinese drywall suit alleges the state has suffered the loss of expected state income tax, sales tax, property tax and other revenues as well as costs related to remediation and disposal of contaminated drywall.

So far, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has received over 2,700 reports from residents in 32 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico concerning Chinese drywall. After Florida, Louisiana is second among states with the most Chinese drywall complaints. Many homes in Louisiana that were rebuilt after hurricanes Katrina and Rita contain Chinese-made wallboard. It is estimated that over 1.1 million sheets of Chinese drywall were imported through the Port of New Orleans was used to construct or rebuild Louisiana homes.

The state of Louisiana’s lawsuit will not cover individual homeowners, and such individuals should contact an attorney to pursue their own claims. Already, more than 3,000 people have filed suit against the manufactures, builders, suppliers and others involved in the Chinese drywall debacle. All Chinese drywall lawsuits currently pending in federal courts have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation currently underway in federal court in New Orleans. Bellwether trials in that litigation are expected to start later this month.

One single class action lawsuit alone filed against Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd. involves nearly 2,100 plaintiffs from Florida, Mississippi and Alabama, and 600 other defendants. Sean Payton, head coach of the New Orleans Saints, is the lead plaintiff on that lawsuit.

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