The company whose Chinese-manufactured drywall is at issue in thousands of lawsuits consolidated before a multidistrict litigation (MDL) court in Louisiana will reportedly repair 300 homes in southeastern United States as part of a pilot project to remove the allegedly defective product and replace wiring and fixtures damaged by sulfur gases the drywall emitted. In re: Chinese-Manufactured Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 2047 (U.S. Dist. Ct., E.D. La.). According to a news source, Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd. will undertake the project with several suppliers and insurance companies to establish a model for the global resolution of a drywall problem that purportedly affected thousands of homeowners who turned to imported drywall in the wake of widespread hurricane-related destruction in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Homeowners involved in the project will reportedly be compensated for accommodation costs during remediation and for moving and storage costs. Each homeowner will also be paid $8.50 per square foot for additional expenses incurred. Environmental engineers will apparently certify that the repaired homes are free of drywall odors and contamination as part of the settlement. The project was proposed following a $164,000 judgment imposed in a bellwether case involving repairs to the home of one Louisiana family. The court reportedly assisted the parties in working out the details of the pilot project. See Product Liability Law 360, October 14, 2010.