Chinese Drywall Litigation On the Fast Track

Judge Eldon E. Fallon, who rose to national prominence by handling the complex Vioxx litigation, is fast-tracking the numerous Chinese drywall cases to a pace rarely seen in the plodding federal court system. Fallon, who is overseeing the combined litigation in New Orleans, has advised attorneys that trials could start as soon as six months from now. In short order, Fallon is set to announce which lawyers will take the lead on either side — forming what are known as the “steering committees.” The court also wants agreed-upon guidelines for inspecting affected homes, with inspections themselves completed one month later. “He is the guru among all federal judges for handling MDLs fast, quick and fairly to both sides,” said New Orleans attorney Daniel E. Becnel Jr., who favored Fallon getting the drywall cases and previously argued the Vioxx case before him. “The defendants respect him as much as the plaintiffs do. He doesn’t tip the scale in any direction, and he gets the job done.”

-Sarasota Herald-Tribune