Chinese Drywall Damage Claims Grow in Mississippi

Mississippi Gulf Coast attorney James C. Gardner, Sr. has joined a consolidated lawsuit seeking damages for hundreds of Gulf Coast residents whose homes are contaminated by Chinese drywall.

Gardner has partnered with lawyer Jim Reeves of Biloxi, who is on the steering committee of the Chinese drywall Multi-District Litigation (MDL). Gardner and Reeves have confirmed more than 30 cases of contaminated Chinese drywall damage in South Mississippi for the consolidated federal lawsuit, and they are expecting many more.

Gardner explained that Chinese manufacturer Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin shipped drywall to the Gulf Coast in 2006 and 2007 during the rebuilding period after Hurricane Katrina. The numerous Chinese drywall lawsuits allege that the material is contaminated with a sulfurous gas that destroys the electrical and plumbing systems in houses. It is believed that Mississippi homes are behind only Florida and Louisiana in the prevalence of the contaminated drywall product.

In June, the New Orleans Federal Court was selected as the venue for consolidation of all the hundreds of federal Chinese drywall lawsuits  similar to a class action. The Environmental Protection Agency is tracking the drywall problem, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission is studying the Chinese drywall for evidence of toxic health hazards.

"In Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Coast fell victim to this country's worst natural disaster in recent memory," Gardner said. "Now those residents who rebuilt and unknowingly used contaminated drywall have been made victims again. I am glad to represent these people and I intend to hold the responsible parties accountable."

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