The Chinese Drywall cases that became ubiquitous with construction defect cases are now being transferred back to the federal districts that they were once filed in. According to a recent claimsjournal.com report, the U.S. Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation indicated that in thousands of such cases would be returned to their respective districts. In fact, the first 1,700 of such cases are scheduled to be returned to Florida’s federal courts if no objections were filed before the established period ends.
Chinese Drywall cases were first assigned to Judge Eldon Fallon in 2009. In 2010, he ruled that the drywall released sulfur into homes where it was installed, which sickened occupants, caused corrosion problems with appliances, plumbing and wiring in addition to creating awful smells in homes.
While transfer orders are rare in these types of cases, Judge Fallon’s court has provided a great deal of guidance through rulings and orders that can guide state courts where unresolved cases will eventually be tried. The court estimates that about 5,000 cases remain to be tried in eight states, including Florida, Virginia, Alabama, California, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana.
It remains to be seen specifically how many cases will be returned to Louisiana state and federal courts. Indeed, many cases are poised to be resolved without trial. Regardless, insurers who represent defendants in these cases will likely require experienced trial litigation counsel licensed in Louisiana. If you have questions about defending Chinese Drywall cases in Louisiana, please feel free to contact us.