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NEW ORLEANS - (Mealey's) The federal judge in Louisiana presiding over the massive Chinese-manufactured defective drywall litigation issued an order Feb. 7 approving five class action settlements with manufacturers, builders, suppliers and installers of Chinese drywall and their various insurers, estimated to be in excess of $1 billion (In re: Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, No. 2:09md02047, E.D. La.).
(Order available. Document #77-130211-018R.)
The settlements will benefit more than 10,000 property owners whose homes and properties have been damaged by defective Chinese drywall, mostly in the southern United States.
On June 15, 2009, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferred all federal actions alleging damages from Chinese-manufactured drywall to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Judge Eldon E. Fallon is presiding over MDL 2047.
The litigation arises from the manufacture, distribution, sale and installation of Chinese drywall that is contained in homes where it allegedly emits foul odors and damages metal and electronic elements and devices and causes various personal injuries to occupants.
The total value of the settlements will depend on the actual costs of remediation. Funding for remediation is uncapped.
A fairness hearing on the settlements took place in November. Judge Fallon's order certified settlements with defendants Interior/Exterior Building Supply LP, Banner Supply Co., L&W Supply Corp. and Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin (KPT), as well as a global settlement with participating builders, suppliers and installers.
Russ M. Herman of Herman Herman Katz & Cotlar in New Orleans and Arnold Levin of Levin Fishbein Sedran & Berman in Philadelphia represent the plaintiffs. Kerry Miller and Kyle Spaulding of Frilot in New Orleans represent the defendants.
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