Last week Judge Glenn Kelly of the 15th Judicial Circuit in Palm Beach, Fla. Made a ruling on Chinese drywall claims he oversees that could make it much more difficult to hold builders and drywall installers “negligent” for installing the defective product.
The ruling requires that builders and drywall installers must have had implied or actual knowledge that the product was defective in order to be held negligent. Read the WSJ story here.
So the big question here is did the builders know or should they have known that the drywall was defective?
While the ruling only affects Palm Beach County, it could have an impact on other pending Chinese drywall litigation.
Builders, suppliers, installers and others involved in the installation of Chinese drywall claim that there was no way they could have been aware that the product was defective, but plaintiffs’ attorneys claim that it was easy to tell that the drywall was defective. “One whiff of the drywall will tell you that it’s not suitable for someone’s home,” said attorney C. David Durkee who represents about 20 Palm Beach County plaintiffs.
It will be interesting to see just how parties from both sides react to the ruling and if the ruling will impact the highly publicized multi-district litigation being overseen in New Orleans.