First Contested Chinese Drywall Case Goes to Trial

Checking Overdraft

Well that was a glorious weekend, huh?

But it's back to work as the first contested Chinese Drywall case gets underway in New Orleans:

"This will be the first contested trial," said Steve Herman, an attorney representing the Hernandez family.

That leaves the Hernandez family standing in for the 2,100 others around the country involved in the litigation. Big court cases involving lots of parties often use "test trials" or "bellwether trials" to try to work through the issues without trying every individual case.

While the Hernandez case doesn't have any direct legal influence on the other cases, what the court decides about what needs to be done to fix the Hernandez home and how much it will cost to make those repairs could help establish values that will guide settlement discussions in the rest of the cases.

"Their significance is magnified because there are so many similar cases with common elements," Herman said of test cases. "It's something that facilitates settlement, because it gives the parties and the court guidance on what the cases are worth."

The trial is expected to last a week.

In other MDL news, Julie Kay reports on Judge King's denial of several motions to dismiss in the checking overdraft cases:
“It’s a really important decision because these banks fought long and hard to get this knocked out at the dismissal stage,” said Bobby Gilbert, a partner at Alters Boldt Brown Rash Culmo in Miami and co-lead counsel on the case with Bruce Rogow, “The entire order is a major step forward for us ... allowing us to proceed to the discovery stage.”

Miami attorney Barry Davidson of Hunton & Williams, who represents Wachovia, declined comment, as did Aaron Schur of Aaron & Porter in San Francisco, who represents Bank of America.
I posted the order above.

Hey, that's weird -- I just wrote an entirely snark-free post!


  1. The Chinese also owe me for two cats, dead I think from complications from having melamine (furniture plastic) put in their foods. And no, I don't want them with a side of fried rice.

    There's your snark for you!

  2. Can I get a SHUMIE ruling???

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