Ruling: US courts can handle Chinese drywall suits

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Associated Press

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 5:01 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court says U.S. courts have jurisdiction over claims that a Chinese drywall company's defective product wrecked homes.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld a district judge's ruling that Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd must pay $2.7 million for damage to seven Virginia houses. The owners were chosen to represent about 300 Virginia families.

All federal cases involving Chinese drywall have been consolidated in New Orleans.

The 5th Circuit ruled Jan. 28 that Taishan lost its chance for defense by failing to deal with plaintiffs' attorneys or the court until it was ordered to pay.

Taishan was one of two major manufacturers of drywall that caused problems from stenches to corrosion. It was installed in an estimated 12,000 to 20,000 U.S. homes.

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