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CertainTeed settles defective siding class action

Home owners in Minnesota and across the nation who sided their homes with CertainTeed fiber cement siding may receive some compensation from the settlement of a class-action lawsuit that was settled last month. CertainTeed, a building materials manufacturer based in Pennsylvania, announced the settlement of the federal class action case from George and agreed to pay $103 million.

Construction defects involving siding can be a major nightmare for any homeowner. When siding allows and/or traps moisture from rain or snow inside walls, mold and other structural damage can develop. For the homeowner, this can necessitate the removal of all the siding, sheathing and insulation, depending on how long the water infiltration has existed.

In the class action, the plaintiffs alleged that CertainTeed made "severely defective" WeatherBoards Fiber Cement exterior siding. They claimed that CertainTeed used fly ash instead of sand in the manufacturing process because it allowed the company to obtain "large federal tax breaks."

This kind of defective construction material can be devastating to the value of a home and may destroy all the equity in a home or drive the homeowner underwater on their mortgage.

Many defective construction claims are expressly excluded from homeowners insurance policies, meaning the homeowner would be forced to pay for any repairs out of pocket.

CertainTeed settled another defective construction material case involving its roofing shingles in 2012, with the company potentially paying up to $600 million in damages.

These types of construction defects need to be addressed by the homeowner as soon as they are discovered, as long-term moisture infiltration can lead to black mold, which, in addition to structural damage, can cause health issues for anyone living in the home.

Source: Msbusiness.com, "CertainTeed says $103M settlement won’t hamper Meridian restart," Ted Carter, December 6, 2013

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