Congressman Steve Scalise today called on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano to use all available options to hold manufacturers of toxic Chinese drywall accountable for damages caused by their contaminated products, including the seizure of the manufacturers' assets.
In his letter to Secretary Napolitano, Scalise points out that a federal judge in New Orleans recently ruled that a drywall manufacturing company in China is liable for the damages and repairs in seven Virginia homes containing toxic Chinese drywall. Scalise also emphasizes that without federal intervention these homeowners will likely experience difficulty recovering their damages.
"Across the country, homeowners continue to suffer while the manufacturers of this toxic Chinese drywall have been given a free pass," Scalise said. "It is time to hold the people who made this toxic drywall accountable for the destruction their products caused to thousands of American homes. I urge Secretary Napolitano to use all available options, including the seizing of any assets being shipped into the United States, against those who are responsible for the damages caused by this toxic drywall."
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has received more than 3,000 reports of toxic Chinese drywall from 37 States, with Louisiana ranking second in reported cases nationally. The full text of Scalise's letter to Secretary Napolitano follows below.
The Honorable Janet Napolitano
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528
Dear Secretary Napolitano:
I write today to request that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pursue any and all options available to the Department, including the seizing of assets being shipped to the United States, against those entities that manufactured toxic Chinese drywall and have been found liable for the damages associated with their contaminated products.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has received over 3,000 incident reports related to toxic Chinese drywall from 37 States and has test results showing that highly reactive sulfur emitting drywall originated in China. CPSC also has sufficient evidence that toxic drywall manufactured by Chinese companies is responsible for the severe damage to thousands of American homes.
Furthermore, a federal judge in New Orleans recently ruled that a drywall manufacturing company in China is liable for the damages and repairs in seven Virginia homes that have been found to contain toxic Chinese drywall. Without federal intervention, these homeowners will likely experience difficulty enforcing any ruling and collecting any judgments they obtain against drywall manufacturers in China.
All steps must be taken to enforce the rulings of American courts against these foreign entities. It is time to take action and hold these companies accountable. They bear responsibility for serious damage to thousands of homes across the country, and have caused homeowners significant financial hardship and in some cases physical harm. Even more concerning is that they have done so without repercussion. We must take action to hold accountable those who are responsible for the damages caused by toxic Chinese drywall.
Therefore, I urge DHS to collaborate with the Intergovernmental Task Force on Problem Drywall to hold accountable any manufacturer of toxic Chinese drywall who has been found liable in a U.S. court of law until they settle with the affected victims or comply with the rulings of U.S. courts. All options, including the seizing by the Customs and Border Protection and United States Coast Guard of any assets that these manufacturers are shipping into the United States, must be pursued to collect on the judgments against these companies. We must make certain these companies are held accountable and pay for the damage they have done to American homeowners.
My constituents and others around the country who have been affected by toxic Chinese drywall deserve answers and solutions, and I urge DHS to help deliver them. I appreciate your prompt attention to this request and offer any help my office can provide to you and your staff in this effort.
Member of Congress