By Mark D. Mese
Judges in East Baton Rouge and St. Tammany Parish have issued two of the earliest rulings on the impact of the Louisiana New Home Warranty Act on claims by homeowners against contractors for damages related to Chinese Drywall. Both state district court judges have found that the Louisiana New Home Warranty Act is the exclusive remedy as between a builder and a homeowner for damages caused by Chinese Drywall. Both judges have also ruled that the Chinese Drywall incorporated into homes in Louisiana is not a structural component of the home and is thus subject to a one year warranty period.
In both of the district court cases, the courts dismissed the plaintiff’s case because the suits against the contractors were brought more than one year after the homes were occupied by the original owners.
The rulings by the district court judges should have no impact on homeowner claims against suppliers and manufacturers of Chinese Drywall as the Louisiana New Home Warranty Act only applies to the relationship and rights between a home builder and a home owner in Louisiana.