FEMA Trailer Trial Opens With Hints of What Chinese Drywall Cases May Bring | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

It has taken three years, but the first trial involving high levels of formaldehyde fumes in emergency trailers provided to Hurricane Katrina evacuees has begun.

Very briefly, the trial opening in New Orleans concerns the claim that breathing air containing formaldehyde worsened the asthma of young boy named Christopher Cooper. Formaldehyde is poisonous and may cause cancer. Also, while it happens somewhat rarely, formaldehyde can cause asthma. Under contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the company Gulf Stream Coach supplied the trailer in which Christopher’s family took shelter and the company allegedly knew of some contamination problems.

Contaminated buildings and building materials pose serious risks to people’s health. These risks have become all too real recently for house and condominium owners in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake whose homes contained Chinese-made drywall. The drywall exuded chemicals that appear to have caused respiratory illnesses and corroded plumbing and electrical fixtures. Hearings in those and similar cases may begin as early as this coming January.

For this reason–and because I want justice for Christopher, his family and anyone else injured by FEMA trailers–I will be watching the trial in new Orleans closely. No one should have their health damaged by their home.

About the Editors: Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the Northeast North Carolina (NC) border. Lawyers with the firm practice primarily in the southeastern U.S. and handle injury law cases, including car, truck and railroad accidents, medical negligence cases and more. The firm’s website is hsinjurylaw.com. Lawyers with Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan also edit the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard and host a YouTube injury law video library with more than 50 videos covering many FAQs on personal injury subjects. The firm’s lawyers are licensed in VA, NC, SC, WV, DC and KY.