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Policy won't cover Chinese drywall losses

June 11, 2010
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NORFOLK, VA — A Norfolk federal judge has ruled that a Virginia Beach man driven from his home by tainted Chinese drywall cannot look to his homeowners’ insurance policy for coverage of his losses, according to Virginia Lawyers Weekly.
U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar granted summary judgment for TRAVCO Insurance Co. for policy claims made by homeowner Larry Ward in the June 3 opinion, the article stated.
According to the article, the judgment is among the first insurance coverage decisions involving losses from the sulfur-emitting wallboard imported during the construction boom of 2004 to 2007 in Virginia, Florida and Louisiana.
Judge Doumar found the homeowner''s damages were pollution-related. "While the drywall itself may not be a pollutant, the gases it releases are," he wrote.
Three other exclusions also barred coverage, Doumar ruled. The homeowner''s losses were excluded by the policy''s latent defect, faulty materials and corrosion exclusions, in addition to the one aimed at pollutants, according to the opinion.
Judge Doumar also found that none of the losses qualified for coverage under the policy''s "ensuing loss" provisions, the article noted.
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