U.S. Sen. David Vitter today applauded the settlement of litigation in U.S. District Court that will allow homeowners to be reimbursed for the cost of remediating homes built with toxic Chinese drywall. Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin, a German-owned Chinese drywall manufacturer, has agreed to pay to repair around 4,500 damaged homes in four states.
"This announcement is good news, and it's what I've been pushing for in meetings with trade officials and former Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, who is now ambassador to China," said Vitter. "And while this settlement is a step forward in the process to bring relief to homeowners, there is still much to be done to ensure that all the victims receive just compensation for the damage caused by toxic Chinese products."
Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin is the Chinese subsidiary of Knauf, which is headquarted in Germany. Other Chinese-owned companies that shipped toxic drywall to Louisiana and other states have shown no interest in a settlement, and Vitter is urging Ambassador Locke to push China to work toward a fair settlement for homeowners from those companies as well.
Earlier this year, Vitter met with Locke prior to his confirmation as ambassador to China to urge him to press Chinese officials to resolve the drywall issue in favor of affected homeowners, and to enforce newly enacted safety standards benefiting the Louisiana seafood industry.
As many as 10,000 buildings across the country -- largely in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Florida -- suffered damage such as appliance failure and the corrosion of metal parts due to the drywall. Many homeowners also reported health problems resulting from exposure to the drywall.