U.S. Sen. David Vitter today joined several Senate colleagues in sending a letter to the head of two major Chinese drywall manufacturing companies urging him to follow the lead of another Chinese-based manufacturer which recently agreed to pay to replace all of its faulty drywall and to fund remediation of U.S. homes containing the product.
"This has been a long ordeal, and no doubt a very frustrating one for the victims," said Vitter. "But I'm encouraged by the steady progress we've been making. The remaining Chinese companies need to take this opportunity and make things right rather than continuing to tie up this process in court."
In December, Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin (KPT), a German-owned and Chinese-based manufacturer of drywall, agreed to pay for replacements and repairs made necessary by the faulty drywall. This agreement was joined by certain of KPT's affiliates with sufficient assets to guarantee the settlement amount.
This month, U.S. Federal Judge Eldon E. Fallon is making an unprecedented trip to Hong Kong to oversee depositions in drywall-related legal actions brought against Taishan Gypsum and Tai'an Taishan Plasterboard.
Vitter was joined on the letter by U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.). The full text of the letter is below:
6 January 2012
General Manager and Chairman of the Board of Directors
Taishan Gypsum Co., Ltd.
Tai'an City, Shandong Province, China 271026
c/o Mr. Joe Cyr at Hogan Lovells
Dear Mr. Jia:
As a members of the United States Senate, we are writing on behalf of thousands of our constituents who have been devastated by the effects of Chinese-manufactured drywall, including the product manufactured by Taishan Gypsum and Tai'an Taishan Plasterboard.
Our letter comes as U.S. Federal Judge Eldon E. Fallon is making an unprecedented trip to Hong Kong to oversee depositions in drywall-related legal actions brought against your companies.
Meantime, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, working with independent laboratories, has confirmed that your product causes property damage inside sealed air-conditioned homes and, therefore, must be removed.
In December, Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin (KPT), a Chinese-based manufacturer of the product, agreed to pay to replace all of its drywall and to fund remediation of U.S. homes that contained the product. This agreement was joined by certain of KPT's affiliates with sufficient assets to guarantee the settlement amount.
We urge Taishan Gypsum and Tai'an Taishan Plasterboard to follow the lead of KPT and its affiliates and agree to replace the drywall they manufactured, while also funding remediation of affected homes as soon as possible.
U.S. Sen. David Vitter
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner
U.S. Sen. Jim Webb