Judge Oks settlements in Chinese drywall case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Attorneys for thousands of Gulf Coast property owners say a federal judge has approved five class-action settlements that call for a Chinese drywall manufacturer and others to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to repair homes damaged by the product.

U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in New Orleans approved Thursday the settlements with manufacturers, builders, suppliers and installers of the drywall and their various insurers.

Plaintiffs' attorney Arnold Levin says the settlements are estimated to be in excess of $1 billion, most of which will be paid by Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Chinese drywall was used in the construction of homes, mainly in the South, after a series of destructive hurricanes in 2005.

The problems it has caused range from a foul odor to corrosion of pipes and wiring.

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