The Fifth Circuit today held that a federal district court in Louisiana correctly found that it had personal jurisdiction over China National Building Materials Company and its subsidiaries in the long-running multi-district litigation (MDL) over defective Chinese-manufactured drywall that was used to rebuild homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. CCL's Robert S. Peck, working as of counsel to Herman, Herman & Katz of New Orleans, argued the case in February.

      Finding that the District Court made no error in its analysis, the Fifth Circuit held, per curiam in a non-precedential decision, that it was affirming for the reasons stated by the District Court. At issue in the appeal were cases consolidated in the MDL from Louisiana, Florida, and Virginia. A settlement that included most of the cases became final after the oral argument and eliminated as moot the Virginia cases. The Fifth Circuit also found itself bound by its acknowledgement that Florida state courts had held that there was an agency relationship between the parent and subsidiary companies. The district court had found that, under Louisiana law, the parent company and its subsidiaries were engaged in a single business enterprise.