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VA Federal Judge Rules for Insurer Chinese Drywall Case

Posted on 08 Jun 2010

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Federal Judge Robert Doumar of Norfolk, Virginia ruled that an insurance company doesn't have to pay a homeowner's claim for damages caused by Chinese drywall.

The judge did note in his ruling that he could not rule out the possibility of that future losses might be covered under a policy's ensuing loss provision.

The ruling, the first of its kind involving claims from homeowners whose homes were built with Chinese drywall, is likely to be cited as other insurance companies battle similar claims.

In this case, Venture Supply Co., a now-closed firm that was based in Norfolk, used Chinese drywall on the homeowner’s house, causing corrosion to electronics and an odor of rotten eggs or sulfur, according to court records. Some homeowners have blamed the drywall for sinus and respiratory problems, and some owners have been forced to move.

The suit is one of a number of pending suits over Chinese drywall, with homeowners in Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi joining Virginia residents in making claims.

The U.S. government has suggested that home built with Chinese drywall should have it removed, which can be costly.

More than 300 million square feet of drywall from China was used during the U.S. housing boom between 2004 and 2007, according to the Wall Street Journal.