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A federal judge has fined a Chinese drywall company $40,000 plus legal costs for holding back critical information about the whereabouts of a former official and his computers

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NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge has fined a Chinese drywall company $40,000 plus legal costs for holding back critical information about the whereabouts of a former official and his computers.

He rejected the contention that Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. might have destroyed or lost evidence about the case, however.

Thousands in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas and Virginia, say fumes from the drywall corroded metal and made them ill.

Plaintiffs' attorneys said Taishan had plotted since 2009 to hold back adverse evidence.

District Judge Eldon Fallon found Taishan responsible for an eight-month delay in holding back testimony and documents from Peng (PONG) Wenlong, who was Taishan's foreign trade manager when it sold the drywall.

Last Friday, Fallon gave the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee 30 days to list expenses related to that delay.

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