NORFOLK (AP) -- Seven Virginia families fighting for compensation over Chinese drywall that wrecked their homes have their eyes on Louisiana this week.

On Wednesday, the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments over whether Chinese drywall manufacturer Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. can be held accountable in American courts for its tainted products.

The seven Hampton Roads families are representing at least 300 Virginia homeowners in a class action lawsuit that was filed in 2009. But the case has implications beyond the state's borders.

While other cases have been litigated or settled, The Virginian-Pilot ( reports the Virginia case is the first to take on Taishan in federal appeals court.

Attorneys estimate the drywall damaged thousands of homes and sickened their occupants nationwide.

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