A lawsuit filed by an Arizona homeowner against one of the nation’s largest drywall manufacturers was voluntarily dismissed, National Gypsum announced on Tuesday.
In a press statement, the company said the dismissal was evidence that National Gypsum drywall is safe and doesn’t share the same problems as its Chinese counterpart, which has been linked to respiratory problems and to corroded wiring in thousands of homes across the southeastern U.S. But nearly 100 claims are still pending against National Gypsum in a Florida court, and the Arizona homeowner whose lawsuit was dismissed on Tuesday is among them.
“The decision to dismiss the case without prejudice is not a reflection of the merits of Mr. Yee’s case,” said William Anderson, an attorney representing Raymond Yee, the Arizona homeowner. “The dismissal in no way exonerates National Gypsum and any assertion to the contrary is irresponsible and false. Mr. Yee is a member of the proposed class in litigation in Florida, and we will watch with great interest how that case proceeds.”
Robert Gary, who is working on the Florida case, said it made sense to move Yee’s case to the Florida lawsuit. The 93 plaintiffs in that lawsuit say National Gypsum drywall caused corrosion problems in their homes.
“Everyone has decided that the cases are most appropriately centered in Florida, because that’s where the bulk of the victims are,” Gary said. “The suit involves the same team of lawyers involved in the Arizona case. We’ve combined forces.”
Craig Weisbruch, vice president of sales and marketing for National Gypsum, said in the news release that “Throughout this litigation, we have never doubted the quality and safety of our gypsum wallboard and were confident we would be fully exonerated.”
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is leading its own investigation into reported American drywall problems.
In an email to ProPublica, CPSC spokesman, Scott Wolfson said the investigation will be released in the “near future.”