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Louisiana Attorney General's Office Files Suit Against Chinese Drywall Manufacturers and Distributors

 On January 13, 2010, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell filed suit today in Orleans Parish against multiple Knauf entities, other international and domestic manufacturers, distributors, importers of toxic Chinese drywall as well as several builders alleging the State of Louisiana has and will continue to suffer economic loss because of the defendants’ manufacture, distribution, sale and/or installation of defective and toxic Chinese drywall. The suit names nine foreign drywall manufacturers, eleven drywall supply and distribution companies, and three home builders.

Over 1.1 million sheets of Defendants’ drywall imported through the Port of New Orleans was used in the construction, repair, or rebuilding of Louisiana homes and buildings after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita since 2005 as well as in new construction during this time period.   The suit says the defendant Knauf single-handedly exported 67.3 million pounds of drywall from China to the United States in 2006, or enough to build 7,500 single family homes. As of Jan. 4, the Consumer Product Safety Commission had received 2,700 reports of bad drywall from 36 states.

The suit was filed on behalf of the State and its political subdivisions to recover damages they have suffered and will continue to suffer as a result of the toxic Chinese drywall that flooded the Louisiana market. The suit alleges the State of Louisiana has suffered the loss of expected state income tax, sales tax, property tax and other revenues caused by the negative impact of Chinese drywall; cost related to remediation and disposal of contaminated drywall and by-products; and other damages directly related to the State of Louisiana.

It is believed the off-gassing by Defendants’ drywall of various harmful chemicals is causing various health problems. The most frequent health complaints resulting from Defendants’ drywall are difficulty breathing, asthma attacks, respiratory problems, coughing, recurring headaches, heart disease, neuron-behavioral problems, sore throats, throat infection, eye irritation, irritated and itchy skin, bloody noses, runny noses, allergic reactions, and sinus infections.   Drywall manufacturer Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. said Caldwell's suit disregarded scientific evidence that its drywall has no long-term health effects.

Additionally, the corrosive effects of Defendants’ drywall on wiring and household appliances, is creating potential fire hazards. Defendants’ drywall creates fire hazards in two different ways. First, the corrosion of electrical wiring, in electrical equipment and gas lines can result in electrical or gas fires.Second, the corrosive effects of defendants’ drywall is damaging the wiring in smoke detectors, fire alarms, and sprinkler systems causing them to malfunction, preventing the ability of life-saving devices to properly function in cases of fire.

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