Dec 05, 2011
Small victory in Chinese drywall fight
05 Dec 2011
Posted by Andrew Kantor
It’s more procedural than anything else, but it’s certainly a symbolic victory: A Circuit Court judge entered a default judgment against the Taishan Gypsum Co., the Chinese-government-owned manufacturer of the tainted drywall that was installed in hundreds of homes in Virginia.
One couple whose home had the drywall (which had to be removed, of course) sued — among other companies — the firm that imported the drywall from China, one Venture Supply.
Venture Supply in turn pointed its legal finger at Taishan, and when the company didn’t respond to being served, Venture asked the judge in the case to enter a default judgment. She did.
What does that mean? Not necessarily much. As PilotOnline reported:
The ruling … is an incremental step in local litigation over who is responsible for fixing the tainted homes. Many of the lawsuits have focused on insurance, particularly whether homeowners’ and commercial liability insurance covers damages caused by the drywall. The issue is important because few builders and developers have the cash to fix the homes without insurance.
The problem, of course, is that the real fault lies strictly with Taishan, and even with a court victory here, getting money out of a Chinese company — especially one owned by the government — ain’t gonna be easy.