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S. Manoj Jegasothy, a shareholder in the Litigation Section of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Pittsburgh office, was quoted in a June 11, 2010, article published by Law360. The article, titled "Drywall Class Action In Fla. May Spur More State Cases," reported on a recent class certification in a lawsuit over defective drywall in China that, some experts believe, "sets an important precedent and could pave the way for more state court actions."

As explained in the article, "The class, certified by a Miami circuit court judge on May 27, consists of residents of three subdivisions of a gated community in Homestead, Fla., who purchased homes built using drywall supplied by Banner Supply Co. at a time when Banner was receiving drywall from Chinese manufacturers. … Their suit blames the drywall boards for a range of problems, from health issues to damage to homes, leveling claims for negligence against Banner and strict products liability against all the defendants, including a construction company and realty firm. … Even though the class in the case was narrowly defined, the judge's conclusion that common issues predominated over individual ones could set off a rash of drywall litigation in state courts and impact pending cases around the country, experts say."

The article went on to note that "[m]any claimants have been filing suit in federal court in order to join the MDL over Chinese-made drywall." Additionally, it examined whether experts believe the class certification order will have any major impact on drywall litigation in the future.

As noted, Jegasothy, who represents suppliers in the MDL in Louisiana, "said the facts of the state court action were so case-specific that they would not necessarily translate to other proposed class actions or the consolidated federal action."

"I know that other actions [in state courts] are out there already, and I can't say if this means there will be more or less of them," he said. "This is still one state court's opinion, and all the other cases could have different facts."