On September 22, 2010, a U.S. District Court Judge in the Middle District of Florida transferred an insurer’s Chinese Drywall coverage case to the District Court in New Orleans, where Multi-District Chinese Drywall Litigation is pending.
Alleging that the insurer violated the “first filed” rule and was forum shopping, the defendants in the Florida case, real estate developer WCI Communities Inc. and its Trustee Robert C. Pate, sought to dismiss or to transfer the insurer’s case. As Trustee for the WCI Drywall Trust, which was formed in July 2009 after WCI filed a petition to reorganize under federal bankruptcy laws, in December 2009, Mr. Pate sued 14 different insurers, including the insurer who later sued WCI in the Middle District of Florida. Because the Chinese drywall action pending in the MDL was “first filed,” the federal judge in Florida transferred the insurer’s action to the MDL in Louisiana.