The Chicago product liability attorneys at Levin & Perconti have been following the Chinese drywall litigation closely over the past year and wanted to share that the first “test case” of the product liability cases will be heard this week. The homeowners’ case does not have any direct legal influence on the other drywall litigation, but the court is expected to decide about what needs to be done to fix the home and how much it will cost. These decisions could help to establish guidelines that will aid settlement discussions in the Chinese drywall litigation that follows.
In case you are unfamiliar with the Chinese drywall product liability cases, over a year ago, homeowners began experiencing problems with drywall manufactured in China. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) followed the complaints by ramping up an investigation into the faulty drywall product that was emitting sulfuric odors and exposing homeowners to personal injuries such as respiratory problems. The company agreed to strip out to the low-quality drywall and replace it. Unfortunately, the Chinese drywall affected homeowners by driving owners from the homes. Further, the fix is extremely expensive – with local builders estimating that the product liability could cost more than $5 million. Last month, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the CPSC issued guidelines for homeowners to identify dangerous drywall. The process consisted of two steps – (1) an initial or threshold inspection to find visual signs of metal corrosion and evidence of installation during the relevant time period and (2) the identification of corroborating evidence or characteristics.
Click here to read more about the “test case” for the Chinese drywall litigation.