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Judge Rules Against Insurer in Chinese Drywall Case

This is a settlement for the Chinese Drywall lawsuit.

Orlando, FL: A Flordia judge recently ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in litagation over defective Chinese drywall. The Hillsborough County judge, Robert Foster, ruled that homeowners' insurance should cover the damage caused by the tainted product. He found no exclusion for it in a Teachers Insurance Co homeowners' insurance policy.

The suit was filed by Craig and Melissa Walker of Odessa, after Teachers failed to cover the damages resulting from tainted drywall in their home.

The defense had argued that a "wear and tear" exclusion and a defective material exclusion pertained to the corrosion of the drywall. However, Judge Foster said that the drywall was not defective because it "serves its purpose and functions as drywall." It does, however, emit a corrosive gas. The policy covered smoke damage, the judge said, and he interpreted smoke to be the same as gas, hence the favorable ruling for the Walkers.

Judge Foster wrote, "The court finds that the ordinary meaning as found in a Merriam-Webster dictionary, defines 'smoke' as a 'suspension of particles in a gas. The court has applied the definition that allows coverage, which is at least as reasonable as the definition that might exclude coverage." The settlement amount has not yet been determined as it is awaiting a jury ruling.

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Published on May-9-11


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