NEW ORLEANS, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Representatives of homeowners, builders, insurance companies and government agencies confronting legal problems stemming from Chinese-made drywall are meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New Orleans on June 18. Topics include liability issues facing builders, distributors and manufacturers; property damage; health concerns; legislative developments; and insurance coverage disputes.
Conference co-chairman Stephen Mysliwiec, a partner with the global law firm of DLA Piper (www.DLAPiper.com), offered a preview of what builders should consider if they feel they may be implicated in the drywall controversy - stressing that communication is key.
"First, communicate with your homeowners. Don't ignore them," Mysliwiec said. "Let them know that you are concerned about the Chinese drywall issue and that you are looking forward to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and other agencies completing their studies of the cause of the problem and what can be done to fix it. If the homeowner feels neglected, it is more likely that the homeowner will hire a lawyer and take an adversarial stance, which will inevitably cost the builder more in the long run.
"Second, communicate with your insurers. Even before a suit is filed against the builder, most insurance policies require the builder to notify the insurer if the builder becomes aware of facts that are reasonably likely to result in a suit against the builder. In addition, request consent from the insurer before entering into any settlements with homeowners or incurring any expenses for which the builder will seek insurance coverage.
"Third," Mysliwiec continued, "communicate with your lawyer. Chinese drywall presents a minefield of liability and insurance issues. The insurance issues in particular are likely to be complex. If your lawyer does not do insurance coverage work on a regular basis, consider hiring counsel who has experience with insurance coverage for construction defect claims."
HB's upcoming Chinese Drywall Conference will provide attorneys, from both sides of the table, with a clearer path across this "minefield." The conference will take place on June 18 in New Orleans featuring co-chairmen Stephen Mysliwiec of DLA Piper and Bruce Steckler of Baron & Budd (www.BaronBudd.com). Speakers include: Glenn Cambre, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Public Health, Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals; Andrea Tecce, CPA, Managing Director, Navigant Consulting Inc.; Hugh Turner of Akerman Senterfitt; Russell Nassof of TRC; Paul Phillips of Rimkus Consulting Group Inc.; Lorelie Masters of Jenner & Block; Veronica Bates of Hermes Sargent Bates; Robert Horst of Nelson Levine de Luca & Horst; Burton LeBlanc of Baron & Budd; Jeremy Alters and Robert Brown III of Alters, Boldt, Brown, Rash & Culmo; Sandy Esserman of Strutzman, Bromberg, Esserman & Plifka; John Kilpatrick, Ph.D. of Greenfield Advisors; Arnold Levin of Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman; Ervin Gonzalez, Law Offices of Ervin Gonzalez; Richard Lewis of Hausfeld LLP; Patricia Williams, Ph.D., DABT, Environmental Toxicology Experts; Michael Ryan of Krupnick Campbell; Sheila Rafter Wiggins of Duane Morris; Russell Nassof of TRC; Eric Winegar, Ph.D. QEP of Applied Measurement Science; William Schuette of Jones Walker; and Barbara Manis, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Building Health Sciences, a division of The NMAS Group.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least 13 states and the District of Columbia have reported "health symptoms or certain metal corrosion problems in their homes that may be related" to Chinese drywall. The CPSC said it was "moving aggressively" with the EPA and HHS to fully investigate the matter, including communication with the Chinese government. The CPSC said it has received more than 180 reports, starting with the first one on Dec. 22, 2008.
This nationally certified CLE program is $895. Members of the press or judiciary may attend for free. Discounts are available for corporations, governments, paralegals and groups.
For more information about the "Chinese Drywall Litigation Conference" on June 18 contact the conference producer, HB Litigation Conferences, formerly Mealey's Conferences, by phone at (484) 324-2755, by email at info@LitigationConferences.com, or by visiting the conferences section at HB's website at www.LitigationConferences.com.
Contacts Jaimee Taibi Jaimee.Taibi@LitigationConferences.com (484) 324-2755 x206 www.litigationconferences.com
|SOURCE HB Litigation Conferences|
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