The remediation trial currently underway in U.S. District Court – with Judge Eldon Fallon presiding – has produced some noteworthy and interesting testimony: the best way to cure a home contaminated with defective Chinese drywall may be to “gut” it. – read on for an elaboration of what exactly “gutting a home” entails.
This case is essentially a “default” hearing – Virginia plaintiffs are up against an entity known as Taishan gypsum Co., but the company is not participating in litigation. This company is owned by the Chinese government and the Consumer Product Safety Commission has received thousands of complaints surrounding Chinese drywall.
The Herald Tribune reported that one of plaintiff’s attorneys noted that when one Norfolk Supply company imported goods from Taishan, the company sought to use Chinese standards rather than international safety standards. Norfolk attorney, Richard Serpe (another plaintiff’s attorney), stated that the Norfolk business (known as Venture Supply) distributed Chinese “material” and even used new vehicles to transport the goods outside of Virginia to other states.
The plaintiffs are asserting that based upon scientific studies, the best option for curing Chinese drywall-laden homes is to “gut” the house. This means that all wiring, metals, and affected materials in the home MUST be removed. The Herald Tribune article referenced previously notes that one Florida homebuilder’s vice president said that first, his company thought that the insulated wiring inside walls of homes would not be affected. He was wrong however, and his company’s protocol for fixing homes now includes a process aimed at removing all electrical components affected.
Last Thursday, one party to the litigation made a somewhat surprising move. Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd. suddenly withdrew from the defense. Did Judge Fallon stall the trial? – No. Consistent with his demeanor thus far, Judge Fallon only made slight reference to Knauf’s withdrawal and the litigation shall press on.