Judge Wants Chinese Drywall Case To Move Quickly

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A federal judge on Thursday ordered the parties in sweeping legal wrangling over Chinese-manufactured drywall linked to corrosion and possible health effects to stay on pace for a January trial by handing over the documents in a speedy fashion.

U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon said at a hearing that he wanted all the parties -- plaintiffs lawyers, homebuilders, drywall distributors and contractors -- to act swiftly in sharing information on finances, inspection reports, and other documentation in preparation for trial.

Fallon is presiding over hundreds of lawsuits against Chinese drywall makers and installers. The suits are from around the nation and claim Chinese-made drywall emits chemical compounds that have ruined houses and harmed residents' health.

Also, Fallon said he would find a Chinese company that has not responded to court filings in default unless it presents itself to the court. The Taishan Gypsum Co. has not responded to a lawsuit against it filed by The Mitchell Co., a Mobile, Ala.-based real estate company.

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