About $2.6 million is on the line for seven Hampton Roads families fighting for compensation from the manufacturer of the Chinese drywall that ravaged their homes.
That’s just a sliver of the millions more that could be doled out to others if they win their case. Thousands of Americans are waiting in the wings for recompense after the toxic wallboard turned their lives upside down.
But one big hurdle stands in their way.
A panel of judges in the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Wednesday that will set them up to decide in the coming weeks whether Chinese drywall manufacturer Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. can be held accountable in American courts for its tainted products.
It’s one of the biggest questions yet in the five-year legal saga, and Hampton Roads families – four from Williamsburg, two from Newport News and one from Virginia Beach – are blazing the trail for the rest of the country. They are representing at least 300 families in a class-action lawsuit, Germano v. Taishan, which was filed in 2009