Chinese Law Prof Blog

Editor: Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New developments in Chinese drywall litigation

There's a class action suit going on in Louisiana over drywall from China that is alleged to have emitted corrosive gases, damaging many homes. On April 8th, the judge issued his Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (FFCL), finding the defendant Taishan Gypsum Company Ltd. (Shandong Taihe Dongxin Co., Ltd.) liable. Here's a report from the Asia Times. The report seems to think it's a big deal that Taishan Gypsum's ownership can ultimately be traced back to the Chinese state in the form of the State Asset Supervision and Administration Commission, but I'm not sure why. It's not clear that Taishan Gypsum attempted any kind of defense on sovereign immunity grounds; if they did, the FFCL don't deal mention it. Nobody's going to be seizing assets of the Chinese state to satisfy the judgment. Indeed, I wonder what the plaintiffs plan to do with their judgment. The chances of getting it enforced in China are virtually zero. US courts don't typically enforce Chinese judgments, and Chinese courts don't typically enforce US judgments. (There have been very rare exceptions in exceptional circumstances, but none of those circumstances apply here. See, for example, my comments on the Robinson Helicopter case and my paper on enforcement of US judgments in China.)

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