NORFOLK BEACH, Va., Dec. 1 (UPI) — A judge in Virginia said the Chinese company implicated in a pernicious drywall case chose not to respond to charges, risking a default judgment.
While the company’s attorneys claimed it was not clear whether local courts had jurisdiction over the case, Judge Patricia West said the company, Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd., had made a “tactical decision” not to respond to lawsuits, The (Norfolk, Va.) Virginian-Pilot reported Thursday.
Numerous lawsuits have been filed across the country against local suppliers and Taishan over drywall that federal product regulators have said emits fumes that are corrosive to wiring in homes. Many have also said the fumes make the homes unlivable.
The lawsuit in Virginia Beach filed by Ben and Holly Proto named, among other companies, Venture Supply Inc., the importer of the Chinese drywall.
Venture Supply, in turn, named Taishan, which would force it to share in any damages, but Taishan did not respond to that complaint within 21 days, the newspaper said.
Similarly, Taishan did not respond to a lawsuit filed in New Orleans in 2010. In that case, a federal judge awarded $2.6 million to five Virginia homeowners.
Taishan eventually responded to that with an appeal filed two months later, the newspaper said.