Thousands of drywall cases to return to states of origin

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The federal judge supervising all Chinese drywall cases says that, after nine years, it's time to return thousands of cases for trial in the federal courts where they were filed.

The panel that put Judge Eldon Fallon in charge in 2009 said the first 1,700 will return to Florida if no objections were filed by Thursday. However, at least three were filed Thursday.

Fallon told the panel March 12 that he wants to transfer all remaining cases.

Plaintiffs' attorney Arnold Levin said Thursday that about 5,000 cases remain from eight states: Florida, Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina and California.

Fallon ruled in 2010 that Chinese-made drywall damaged homes by releasing sulfur fumes. In 2013, he approved settlements involving a German-owned manufacturer. Remaining cases involve a Chinese company.

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