All Federal Chinese Drywall Lawsuits to be Consolidated in New Orleans
The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL Panel) has ruled today that all class action lawsuits pending across the country involving Chinese-manufactured drywall will be assigned to Judge Eldon Fallon, U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana located in New Orleans. The MDL Panel serves to coordinate similar cases filed in different federal courts before one single judge for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings. The intentions of the consolidation process are to avoid duplication of discovery, to prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, and to conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary.
Reports indicate that tens of millions of square feet of Chinese-made drywall was imported for new home construction during the housing boom between 2004 and 2006 and following Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma in 2005. Recent studies have confirmed that the imported drywall emits sulfur-based gases that corrode air conditioning coils, electrical systems, plumbing pipes, and cause extensive home damage as well as raising the possible potential health dangers from chronic exposure. Lawsuits involving Chinese drywall have been filed in Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, Ohio, and many other states.