Partial settlement reached in Chinese drywall litigation; Insurers agree to pay $8 million

Alejandro de los Rios Apr. 28, 2011, 11:25am


Insurance companies for suppliers that distributed Chinese drywall have agreed to pay $8 million to settle lawsuits filed over the damage done to homes by the material.

Interior/Exterior Supply is just one of several companies that were sued in relation to drywall sold by Chinese companies Knauf Gibs KG and Tiashan Gypsum Co. to thousands of homes in the American South.

In a statement, plaintiff lawyer Russ Herman confirmed that this "is the first Chinese drywall settlement with a major supplier."

Arch Insurance and Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance are the Interior/Exterior primary insurers and have agreed to pay $4 million for the claims.

The settlement states that plaintiffs have been assigned the right to pursue up to $72 million in additional insurance coverage from North River Insurance Co.

Last year, Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell stated that 1.1 million sheets of Chinese drywall distributed by Interior/Exterior were installed in homes undergoing repairs following hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The settlement, filed April 26 in the Eastern District Court of Louisiana, is pending approval of Judge Eldon Fallon.

In October 2010, Fallon oversaw and enacted an order in which Knauf paid to repair 300 homes that were affected by Chinese drywall.

A May 6 hearing to discuss the settlement has been schedule in Fallon's courtroom.

Federal MDL 2:09-md-02047

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