While the problems with drywall imported from China had little impact on the Upstate, we thought you might be interested in the latest news regarding a settlement in the legal dispute.

On February 7, 2013, Judge Eldon Fallon of the U.S. District for the Eastern District of Louisiana, entered an Order and Judgment approving five class‐action settlements that will make available millions of dollars to remediate homes built with Chinese drywall. According to published reports the settlements will benefit more than 10,000 property owners. The order and judgment effectively end the Chinese Drywall Multidistrict Litigation. Judge Fallon’s decision stems from a hearing in November held to help him gauge the fairness of five separate but related settlement agreements between plaintiffs’ lawyers and companies that made, supplied or installed the defective Chinese drywall. The settlements were certified for: Interior/Exterior Building Supply, LP; Banner; L&W Supply Corp.; Knauf and Global participating builders, suppliers, and installers. They resolve all claims, counterclaims, and third‐party claims among the settling parties.

The manufacturers of the drywall in question generally fell into two groups: the Knauf entities and the Taishan entities. The Taishan entities are not settling and continue to argue that the court has no personal jurisdiction over them. That issue is currently the subject of an appeal pending before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The “InEx” Settlement
This agreement provides for the tendering of all of InEx’s primary insurance proceeds, in the amount of $8,000,000, for the benefit of a national class with claims against InEx involving Chinese drywall.

The Banner Settlements
The Settlement agreement provides that Banner and its insurers will provide $54,475,558.30 for the benefit of a nationwide class consisting of all persons or entities with claims against Banner arising from or otherwise related to Chinese drywall.

The L&W Settlement
The L&W Settlement is a component of the plan for global resolution of the Knauf/KPT supply chain. Financial details were not revealed in the Order.

The Knauf Settlement
The agreement creates two funds from which plaintiffs may recover: the Remediation Fund and the Other Loss Fund. The Remediation Fund is uncapped and will pay to repair roughly 5,200 properties, mostly in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The Other Loss Fund, reported to be capped at $30 million, will reimburse for certain provable economic loss and provide a review process for individuals who believe they have bodily injury claims. In addition, attorneys’ fees and costs will be paid. This settlement is intended to resolve claims made in filed actions which arose out of KPT Chinese drywall installed in properties in the United States. Importantly, only those who filed a lawsuit in the litigation as of December 9, 2011 are eligible as class members.
The Global Settlement
The Global Settlement involves various builders, suppliers, and installers and provides for a total payment of $70,570,000.00 for class members regardless of the type or brand of Chinese drywall in their properties and regardless of whether they filed their claims in the MDL or another forum. The settlement does not include any properties located in Virginia (those properties are the subject of a separate class action).