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Proposal provides hope to Louisiana residents with toxic drywall

Hurricane Katrina forever changed the landscape of Louisiana. The loss of life and property was irreplaceable. Some citizens began the process of rebuilding their lives by constructing new homes, only to run into new road blocks.

For some residents, the defective drywall that was used to build their homes began to corrode and create odor. In other cases, the drywall, which was manufactured in China, proved to be so unsafe that affected homes were rendered uninhabitable. Congress is now seeking to create a remedy for this product liability disaster.

The drywall bill is being championed by Louisiana Senator David Vitter. The bill has already passed the Senate, and it should be put to a vote in the near future.

The bill's main goal is to prevent unsafe drywall from entering the market in the future. Beyond future sales, the bill seeks to push China to help those homeowners that have already been affected by the defective drywall. If Vitter and Nelson get their way, the Chinese companies will have to answer any lawsuits filed in U.S. courts to compensate homeowners who have the dangerous drywall.

This bill is key to providing a legal remedy to homeowners stuck with the defective Chinese drywall. Without it, homeowners may have to seek relief outside American courts, where laws may not be favorable and the cost may be prohibitive for litigation. Under personal injury laws, if a person is seriously injured by a product that is defective, that person may be able to recover compensation for any damages sustained.

Product liability cases can be more complicated than the average personal injury claim. Special technical knowledge from a variety of experts may be needed to build a successful case. That is why it is important to get the trustworthy, accurate information when pursuing a product liability claim.

Source: The Times-Picayune, "House considering bill to prod China to correct drywall problems," Bruce Alpert, Dec. 30, 2012

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