China: Can’t sue Cabinet-level agency over Chinese drywall

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — China’s Ministry of Justice has sent back a lawsuit in which thousands of U.S. homeowners in six states say a Cabinet-level agency should pay for damage to their homes from defective drywall made in China.

The ministry says it won’t serve the legal papers because the agency is immune to such lawsuits and the legal service would infringe on China’s sovereignty.

The brief letter from Beijing became part of the court record this week, about 21 months after lawyers for the homeowners sued the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, which oversees 117 state-owned companies.

The six states involved in the suit are Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia.

An attorney for the homeowners did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment Thursday.

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