MIAMI ( – A Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge ruled Wednesday that homeowners who have toxic Chinese drywall in their homes to file claims seeking punitive damages against building materials company Knauf.

The approval of the suits is reportedly the first of its kind in the country that will allow Chinese drywall victims to file claims against the German company Knauf Gips and it’s Chinese affiliate Knauf Plasterboad Tianjin (KPT).

The lawsuits allege that both companies sought to hide known defects in KPT drywall from American consumers.

“The victims of Chinese drywall have suffered long enough, and we will continue to fight for justice on their behalf,” said lawyer Victor Diaz, of V.M. Diaz & Partners. “This is just the beginning: we will not stop and will not be fully satisfied until the full truth is allowed to come out in open court.”