LeBlanc Testifies in Support of Sen. Julie Quinn’s Bill that Would Protect Homeowners with Chinese Drywall

BATON ROUGE (April 22, 2010) Baron & Budd, P.C. attorney Burton LeBlanc testified yesterday before the Louisiana Senate Insurance Committee to support a bill that would give certain protections to Louisiana homeowners with Chinese drywall in their homes.

S.B. 595, sponsored by Louisiana Senator Julie Quinn, would prevent insurance companies from “non-renewing” or canceling the policies of homeowners who make a Chinese drywall claim. It also would require insurance companies to reinstate policies that have already been non-renewed or canceled.

At the hearing, a number of homeowners dealing with Chinese drywall described the dilemma so many homeowners face. Insurance companies have uniformly denied claims for Chinese drywall, but if homeowners move out and handle remediation themselves, the policy can be canceled because the home is vacant for more than 30 days. If they leave the Chinese drywall in the home and manage to stay there, insurance companies may fail to renew because the the presence of Chinese drywall makes the home inhabitable. And if the homeowner loses their insurance policy—either from being canceled or non-renewed—getting alternative coverage is impossible to get and the mortgage goes into default for failure to maintain insurance.

“These homeowners are in a terrible Catch 22,” said LeBlanc. “Senator Quinn has been a tireless advocate for Louisianans struggling to deal with Chinese drywall. Passage of Senator Quinn’s bill is critical to protect homeowners in Louisiana from losing their homes while they deal with remediation and try to resolve their claims related to Chinese drywall.”

Senate Bill 595 was passed out of committee unanimously and will be sent next for consideration on the floor of the Louisiana Senate.

About Baron & Budd, P.C.

Dallas-based Baron & Budd, P.C., with offices in Baton Rouge, Austin and Beverly Hills, is a nationally recognized firm with more than three decades of experience representing people and communities harmed by corporate negligence. The firm resolved one of the first asbestos cases in the United States in the 1970s and continues to serve people diagnosed with mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer as well as communities and consumers dealing with the costs of fraud and corporate misconduct.