NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A lawyer says last week's $3.2 million payment for Chinese drywall damage to seven houses is a good sign for thousands of others in at least six states.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) A lawyer says last week's $3.2 million payment for Chinese drywall damage to seven houses is a good sign for thousands of others in at least six states.

Plaintiffs' attorney Russ Herman says it now seems a matter of proving damages for up to 4,000 other people who sued Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. A hearing is scheduled for April 28.

Herman says he expects U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in New Orleans will soon release the $3.2 million paid last week.

Earlier, Taishan paid a $40,000 fine for contempt of court because the company had failed to show up for hearings and $15,000 in associated attorneys' fees.

The judge had said that unless Taishan made all three payments, it could not participate in the damages hearings.