A Multi-District Litigation Panel is moving forward on plans for consolidating thousands of Chinese drywall lawsuits throughout the United States. On June 15, the MDL selected the Eastern District of Louisiana Federal United States District Court in New Orleans to oversee the cases. An estimated 100,000 cases from across the nation are expected to be consolidated for pretrial matters and discovery in the drywall litigation that has impacted homeowners throughout the country. Florida is expected to have 35,000 cases filed within the next year regarding this problem.
“This is the largest construction defect case in the history of the United States and consumers need help now,” said Ervin A. Gonzalez in a press statement. Gonzalez is a partner at the law firm of Colson Hicks Eidson in Miami-Dade Co., Fla.
The court will likely select an executive committee for the plaintiffs and defendants to run the litigation on behalf of all interested parties and soon after require a joint case management plan to be submitted that outlines the parties’ pleading and practice schedule as well as the proposed discovery schedule.
As early as 2007, many homeowners who moved into their newly constructed homes began to notice strong “rotten egg” odors. They also noticed that many of their new appliances were failing, wiring was corroding, air-conditioning coils needed replacing and they began to experience headaches, sore throats, nose bleeds and upper respiratory problems.
According to the lawsuit, the culprit is alleged to be defective drywall that emits various sulfide gases and/or other chemicals through “off-gassing” that creates noxious, “rotten egg-like” odors, and causes corrosion of metals including those in air-conditioners, refrigerator coils, microwaves, faucets, utensils, copper tubing, electrical wiring, computer wiring, personal property, electronic appliances, and other metal surfaces and household items.