According to the Miami Herald (11/10/10), the initial settlement would have seen Lowe's give out $6.5 million in cash and gift cards to consumers who were eligible to receive them. Payments to each individual, however, would have been capped at $4,500. Meanwhile, the settlement would have seen Lowe's, who says it did not sell defective drywall, pay $2.17 million.
Some consumer lawyers criticized the proposed settlement, saying it would pay pennies on the dollar. Lowe's and the lawyers involved in the case then renegotiated the settlement, increasing the maximum payment to $100,000. Furthermore, consumers who are part of the Lowe's settlement will also be allowed to pursue claims against other parties responsible for defective Chinese drywall.
Following the changes to the settlement, consumer lawyers who were opposed to the initial agreement dropped their opposition. The new settlement must still be approved by a judge.
READ MORE CHINESE DRYWALL PROBLEM LEGAL NEWS
Consumers who have homes that contain drywall imported from China between 2001 and 2007 have filed lawsuits against various companies involved in producing homes with Chinese drywall or selling or marketing the Chinese drywall. Thousands of such lawsuits have been consolidated into a multi-district litigation in New Orleans.
Meanwhile, a judge in Florida has limited homebuilders' liability in Chinese drywall litigation. The judge determined that homebuilders cannot be held strictly liable because they did not manufacture the Chinese drywall and they did not belong to the chain that distributed the defective drywall. Instead, they are end-users of the product—buying it to put it into a home.