Chinese drywall settlement announced

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) - Hundreds of local homeowners have suffered the consequences of having defective Chinese drywall installed in their homes.

In many cases, the people we talked with said their homes had to be torn down to the studs. They said it impacted the electrical copper wiring and destroyed air conditioning units.

Tuesday's major announcement promised that some relief could soon be on the way.

"It means those who bought from or had their product delivered by Interior/Exterior are part of this settlement. Over the next month or so, we'll have what we call a fairness hearing to determine if it's appropriate," Attorney Jim Reeves said. "If it is, it will be approved, and they'll be some short term relief, relative short term relief for some of those affected property owners."

Biloxi attorney Jim Reeves has been appointed as class counsel for all members of the class outside of Louisiana.

Reeves added, "Virtually everybody in Mississippi who has Knauf drywall will be helped in some level by this settlement."

Ocean Springs attorney Steven Mullins said those homeowners who had Taishan drywall installed will receive some of the $ 8 million settlement.

Mullins said, "So that's at least a pot with some money recovery for the people who have Taishan even though on the coast we're very fortunate to have a small number that is a recovery for them which is better than potentially nothing if the Chinese government decides to walk off of litigation."

Reeves stressed the message to take home is, "This is not the end; it may be the beginning of the end, so we anticipate there's a lot of momentum generated by this. And we anticipate some other settlements coming about in relative short order."

A Chinese drywall supplier's insurers have agreed to pay up to $8 million to settle court claims against the company over damage to homes from the corrosive product.

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