Chinese Drywall Settlement News

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).

Free Webinar March 1: NAHB Chinese Drywall Remediation Guidelines

On March 4, NAHB’s Chinese Drywall Task Force plans to unveil new technical guidance for NAHB members who have questions about how to detect and remediate problematic drywall that has been imported from China in recent years.

In anticipation of this, NAHB is holding a free webinar on the guidance document.

The webinar will be held from 3:00-4:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 1.

NAHB First Vice Chairman Barry Rutenberg will moderate the event, which will be conducted by Katherine Cahill, Global Product Risk Practice Leader, Marsh Risk Consulting, and Dr. Barbara Manis, chief medical officer at Building Health Sciences Inc. of Rockville, Md.

Panelists will share what the guidance document says about the health risks associated with problematic drywall. They also will discuss techniques for determining whether problematic drywall is present in a home, and if so, how to execute a partial or total remediation and perform clearance testing to ensure all of the problematic drywall has been removed.

To Register

To register for the Chinese Drywall Remediation Guidelines Webinar, click here.

We encourage you to let your members know about this free members-only educational event. Space is limited so register early.

If you need help with registration, contact the Office of the Registrar or call 800-368-5242 x8338.

NAHB Offering Webinar on Chinese Drywall

Home builders can obtain up-to-date information regarding testing and remediation protocols for corrosive drywall, as well as learn about the insurance ramifications of corrosive drywall in homes built with the product, during a free webinar from NAHB and the insurance broker and risk advisor, Marsh.

The webinar, “Evolving Solutions to the Corrosive Drywall Crisis,” will be held from 12:00-1:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 11. A panel of experts will discuss:

  • What builders can tell their customers and home owners
  • How builders can answer customer and home owner questions
  • The appropriate testing protocol for determining the presence of corrosive drywall
  • How recent activities by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and HUD affect builders

The webinar will include a question and answer period at the end of the presentation. Participants should submit questions in advance to Panelists include:

  • Katherine Cahill — Managing Director, Leader of Global Product Risk Practice, Marsh
  • Barbara Manis, MD — Chief Medical Officer, The NMAS Group, a medically-based enterprise risk management firm
  • Bruce Hallock, PSP, CFCC — Vice President, Construction Consulting Practice, Marsh
  • Alan Schoem — Senior Vice President, Global Product Risk Practice, Marsh
  • John Denton — Senior Vice President, Mass Tort and Complex Liability Practice, Marsh

To register online, click here.

Once registered, participants will receive webinar access instructions.