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June 18 Conference Features Legal, Medical & Scientific Presentations
Date:6/1/2009

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
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SOURCE HB Litigation Conferences
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