The trial is the first in a series of lawsuits alleging defective drywall. The defendant in the case, Taishan Gypsum Company Ltd. is headquartered in Tai'in, China.
A building boom mid-decade, together with the devastation wrought by a string of hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, resulted in a massive shortage in supplies of drywall normally originating in the US. To make up for the shortfall, contractors turned to China. Since then, there have been ongoing reports of drywall emitting noxious fumes and corroding wiring and plumbing. For some homeowners, the fumes have represented a health hazard, impelling them to abandon their dwellings entirely.
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Sealing the defective drywall has never been actively discussed as a viable option. In his ruling, US District Judge Eldon Fallon specifically identified the need for complete removal of any pieces of Chinese drywall in the home, together with any fixture or item damaged by it.
The Associated Press reported Judge Fallon's ruling late on April 8. The decision in favor of the plaintiffs could affect thousands of other US homeowners who find themselves in a similar situation.