Chinese Drywall Multidistrict Litigation

(Client: Allstate, Chubb, Liberty Mutual and Safeco)

The firm represented several insurers, including Allstate, Chubb, Liberty Mutual and Safeco, in federal multidistrict litigation and Louisiana state cases involving allegedly defective Chinese drywall.  Policyholders and others were seeking insurance coverage for losses resulting from the allegedly defective Chinese drywall under homeowner or commercial general liability insurance policies. The cases involved allegedly defective Chinese drywall that was installed in tens of thousands of homes nationwide that were emitting gasses that purportedly caused corrosion and damage to household components.  The cases included federal multidistrict litigation ("MDL") in the federal district court for the Eastern District of Louisiana comprised of numerous class actions and hundreds of individual cases.  These cases presented important issues regarding insurance coverage and applicability of various exclusions in both homeowners and commercial general liability policies. Judge Fallon approved final settlement in March 2013.

The Barrasso team who represented the insurers included Judy Barrasso, Steven W. Usdin, H. Minor Pipes, III, Catherine Fornias Giarrusso, and Susan Rogge. The Court appointed Judy Barrasso as lead counsel for the insurance companies in the MDL proceeding, and Judy Barrasso and H. Minor Pipes, III as members of the Insurance Subcommittee.