Tagged Articles

claim 34 articles

Federal court holds Chinese drywall companies in contempt for ignoring U.S. litigation

China’s state-owned drywall manufacturers have abandoned litigation in the U.S. involving thousands of American homeowners who sued the companies over allegedly toxic and corrosive drywall they claim has damaged their homes and their health. In addition to not responding to the multidistrict litigation (MDL) in a Louisiana federal court, Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. and other gypsum manufacturers owned by the Chinese government’s Assets Supervision and Administration Commission ignored a $2.7 million default judgment against them in 2010. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon held Taishan in civil and criminal contempt on July 17 for its refusal to appear in court to ... Read More

State Farm seeks new trial in Mississippi whistleblower fraud case

Illinois-based State Farm and Casualty Co. has asked a federal judge to overturn a Mississippi jury’s finding the insurance company defrauded the U.S. government by allegedly manipulating damage reports after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005 to blame damage on storm-surge floods instead of wind damage. The whistleblower case originated with Cori and Kerri Rigsby of Ocean Springs, Miss., sisters who worked for an Alabama contractor State Farm hired to assess damages after the hurricane. The borderline category-3 / category-4 storm was the costliest and most destructive storm in U.S. history. It decimated entire cities along the Gulf ... Read More

Lawsuits against Darvon, Darvocet makers expected to climb

So far, few lawsuits have been filed against the makers of the painkillers Darvon and Darvocet, but that number is expected to climb over the next few months. The drugs, which contain the ingredient propoxyphene, as well as generic equivalents, were banned late last year because new clinical studies showed the drugs were putting users at greater risk for abnormal heart rhythms. These cardiac disturbances required hospitalizations, and some patients suffered heart attacks, strokes and even sudden cardiac death. When clients contact law firms, such as Beasley Allen, a firm that is handling several of these cases, the cases are ... Read More

U.S. issues new recommendations for dealing with toxic Chinese drywall

The U.S. government has revised its list of recommended measures to take when dealing with “problem drywall,” which it estimates to be installed in tens of thousands of homes throughout the United States. Thousands of homeowners who purchased homes built from 2005 to 2008, mostly in Florida and other parts of the Southeast, have complained of noxious fumes emitting from their walls, rendering their homes unlivable and unsellable. The problem has been linked to drywall imported from China, which contains a high percentage of sulfuric compounds harvested from industrial waste. The drywall releases hydrogen sulfide gas, which causes a range ... Read More

BP-affiliated law firm hired to advise oil spill claimants in Mississippi

Years from now, law students may study the case of Ken Feinberg and his handling of BP oil spill claims in their textbook chapter about legal ethics and conflicts of interest. Mr. Feinberg — the man appointed to oversee the BP oil spill claims process through the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) — is on BP’s payroll to the tune of $850,000 per month. This is the man who decides how much individuals and businesses harmed by BP’s massive Gulf oil spill will be reimbursed and when they will be paid, and all the conditions that apply. But that’s not all. Mr. ... Read More

BP refuses to pay Alabama’s claim, forcing budget cuts

BP has said it will not pay the state of Alabama $148 million in tax revenue lost when the massive oil spill crippled industry along its entire length of Gulf coastline. The oil company cited the lawsuit brought against it by Alabama attorney general Troy King for oil spill damages as one of the reasons for its refusal to pay the claim. The announcement led Alabama governor Bob Riley to cut school funding by 2 percent for the month of September on top of cuts of 7.5 percent imposed earlier. Riley said the budget reductions will cause many schools to ... Read More

BP Official Resists Defining 'Legitimate' Claim

A top BP PLC executive declined to be specific today when pressed at a congressional hearing to say what kind of claims the company will pay from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the liability questions surrounding the Gulf of Mexico spill, including the response of the companies involved and the damage limits written into federal law. Darryl Willis, BP’s vice president for resources, is representing the company at the hearing. “We are going to pay all legitimate claims,” Willis said, repeating a company refrain that has drawn skepticism from lawmakers and ... Read More

CPSC names Chinese companies responsible for toxic drywall

The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has identified the manufacturers of the Chinese drywall that thousands of homeowners say has ruined their homes and their health. Enough toxic drywall to build 30,000 homes entered U.S. ports from China during the post-Katrina building boom of 2006 and 2007. People in as many as 18 states claim that the drywall has sickened them with a slew of respiratory problems while corroding their homes’ electrical wiring, air conditioning units, and other household systems. The CPSC collected samples from homes affected by the toxic drywall and submitted them to the Energy Department’s Lawrence Berkeley ... Read More

CPSC info center helps consumers living with toxic Chinese drywall

The federal government has launched a new section of its web site called the Drywall Information Center. The agency developed the section in an effort to field consumer questions and complaints about the influx of tainted Chinese-made drywall to the U.S. that occurred in 2006 and 2007 when domestic drywall supplies ran low. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says it has received close to 2,000 reports of drywall ruining electrical wiring, air conditioner coils, fixtures, and appliances because it emits corrosive sulfuric fumes. Homeowners affected by the Chinese drywall also report a variety of respiratory health problems and a constant foul odor ... Read More

Toxic drywall: new meaning for the term China Syndrome?

In the 1970s, a blockbuster movie popularized the apocalyptic theory that radioactive material from a nuclear meltdown could burn through the earth’s core and resurface on the other side of the world. Today, the words “China Syndrome” could be an accurate description of the influx of dangerous consumer products flooding the U.S. market from overseas and China in particular – products such as toxic Chinese drywall, which builders and suppliers imported during the 2006-2007 building boom and post-Hurricane Katrina reconstruction efforts. These products, analysts are coming to understand, threaten to harm more than the American consumer and his wallet. Customs records ... Read More