Drywall Lawsuits Against National Gypsum Dismissed in Federal Court

July 25, 2012

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Federal District Court Judge John E. Steele issued orders today dismissing all claims against National Gypsum in the Brincku and Brucker lawsuits. The two cases claimed National Gypsum’s American-made drywall caused the same corrosive effects in the plaintiffs’ homes as defective Chinese drywall.

The lawsuits alleged the company manufactured defective drywall which contained high levels of sulfur, released hydrogen sulfide gas from bacteria, and corroded copper and other metals inside the homes. Unrebutted scientific evidence provided by the company proved this was not the case.

“We are extremely pleased that our company’s products and reputation have been completely vindicated,” said CEO Thomas C. Nelson. “This ruling confirms what we have said all along: National Gypsum drywall is a high-quality, safe and environmentally sound product. Every single false allegation has been rebutted by sound science from the nation’s leading laboratories and safety experts."

The court’s ruling concludes a long saga which began in 2009. In response to the allegations, the company engaged Packer Engineering and Columbia Analytical Services, two well-known independent testing laboratories, to conduct a full battery of elemental sulfur, copper corrosion, and gas chamber tests on the company’s drywall. Other professionals, including HSA Engineers and Scientists, Inc., also tested the air, water, and surrounding environments of the homes.

These results, along with studies done for the Consumer Products Safety Commission by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Environmental Health & Engineering, were consistent. National Gypsum drywall does not cause the corrosive issues associated with defective Chinese drywall. To the contrary, detailed study of the homes involved confirmed that the alleged metal corrosion was caused by hydrogen sulfide released from poorly or untreated well water or by defective, corrosive Chinese drywall, not by National Gypsum’s products.

The dismissal of the Brincku and Brucker lawsuits is the latest in a series of similar cases that have been thrown out of court. In April 2011, an Arizona putative national class action against National Gypsum was voluntarily withdrawn, after the plaintiffs admitted having no scientific or causal evidence to support that lawsuit. In October 2011, an Alabama lawsuit was dismissed “with prejudice” – meaning the plaintiffs are barred from bringing the same claim against the company.

“The court’s action will allow us to continue our 87-year tradition of producing high-quality gypsum drywall and finishing products in the United States without the unfounded and unwarranted distraction and expense of these suits,” Nelson said. "This is an important victory for National Gypsum, its customers, and its associates.”

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