Dieuvil v. Gebrueder Knauf Verwaltungsgesellschaft, KG, No. 20-30120 (5th Cir. 2020)

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Justia Opinion Summary

Plaintiff joined the Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Multi-District Litigation, alleging that his home contained defective Chinese-manufactured drywall. Plaintiff challenged the district court's award of $300,000 in damages and Knauf Defendants move to dismiss.

The Fifth Circuit granted the Knauf Defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and dismissed the appeal. In this case, the New Claims Settlement Agreement incorporates another agreement that has a waiver of appellate rights, and these explicit waivers clearly and unequivocally waive plaintiff's right to appeal.

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IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS United States Court of Appeals FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT Fifth Circuit FILED No. 20-30120 May 20, 2020 Lyle W. Cayce Clerk IN RE: CHINESE-MANUFACTURED DRYWALL PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION _______________________________ GUILFORT DIEUVIL, Plaintiff - Appellant v. GEBRUEDER KNAUF VERWALTUNGSGESELLSCHAFT, KG; KNAUF INTERNATIONAL GMBH; KNAUF INSULATION GMBH; KNAUF UK GMBH; KNAUF AMF GMBH AND COMPANY, KG; KNAUF DO BRASIL, LIMITED; PT KNAUF GYPSUM INDONESIA; KNAUF GIPS KG; KNAUF PLASTERBOARD TIANJIN COMPANY, LIMITED; KNAUF PLASTERBOARD WUHU COMPANY, LIMITED; GUANGDONG KNAUF NEW BUILDING MATERIAL PRODUCTS COMPANY, LIMITED, Defendants - Appellees Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Before JONES, HIGGINSON, and OLDHAM, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: This appeal stems from the ongoing Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Multi-District Litigation. In a recent unpublished opinion, this court dismissed a similar appeal because the appellant had waived his No. 20-30120 appellate rights in a class settlement agreement. See In re Chinese- Manufactured Drywall Prod. Liab. Litig., 794 F. App’x 387, 389 (5th Cir. 2019). We dismiss this appeal for the same reason and publish this opinion to avert further fruitless attempts at appellate review. Appellant Guilfort Dieuvil joined the MDL in 2013, alleging his home contained defective Chinese-manufactured drywall. Dieuvil is subject to a class settlement agreement (the “New Claims Settlement Agreement”) that details the process for resolving claims against appellees the Knauf Defendants 1 in the MDL. As part of that process, the district court awarded Dieuvil over $300,000 in damages. Dieuvil appeals the award, and the Knauf Defendants move to dismiss. As we previously recognized, the New Claims Settlement Agreement expressly states that “[a]ny dispute under this Agreement shall be presented for resolution to the MDL court” and “[t]he MDL’s determination shall be final with no appeal.” Id. (emphasis added). The New Claims Settlement Agreement incorporates another agreement that has a similar waiver of appellate rights. These explicit waivers clearly and unequivocally waive Dieuvil’s right to appeal. See id.; see also 15A Charles Alan Wright et al., Federal Practice & Procedure § 3901 (2d ed. 2012) (“The most likely occasion for waiver arises from a settlement agreement that calls for resolution of some disputed matter by the district court, coupled with an explicit agreement that the district court decision shall be final and that all rights of appeal are waived.”). The Knauf Defendants include appellees Knauf Plasterboard (Tianjin) Co., Ltd.; Knauf Plasterboard (Wuhu) Co., Ltd.; Guangdong Knauf New Building Material Products Co., Ltd.; Knauf Gips KG; Gebr. Knauf Verwaltungsgesellschaft KG; Knauf International GmbH; Knauf Insulation GmbH; Knauf UK GmbH; Knauf AMF GmbH & Co. KG; Knauf Do Brasil Ltd.; and Pt Knauf Gypsum Indonesia. 1 2 No. 20-30120 Accordingly, the Knauf Defendants’ motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction is GRANTED and the appeal is DISMISSED. 3
Primary Holding
The Fifth Circuit granted the Knauf Defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and dismissed the appeal based on plaintiff's waiver of appellate rights.

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