At a cost capped at $8.25 million plus attorney's fees, Trex Co. is settling a California lawsuit connected to mold in an early version of its decking product.
Trex, the largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking, said the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted preliminary approval of a settlement agreement that will resolve a nationwide class action lawsuit filed in California alleging certain misrepresentations and defects in Trex’s first-generation composite products relating to mold growth and color issues.
Winchester, Va.-based Trex will provide to qualified claimants a one-time cash payment or the opportunity to receive other relief, including a rebate certificate on its newer-generation shelled products -- Trex Transcend and Trex Enhance.
This relief would be available for any eligible consumer whose first-generation composite product purchased after Aug. 1, 2004, has a certain level of mold growth, color fading or color variation.
“Our decision to settle the case is by no means an admission of any of the allegations made by the plaintiffs,” said Ronald Kaplan, chairman, president and CEO of Trex. “Trex has steadfastly denied any liability and we were fully prepared to defend our position. We strongly believe we would have prevailed; however, we settled on terms that we feel benefit both our consumers and Trex. This settlement allows our company to avoid additional expensive, time-consuming litigation and to focus on delivering quality products and service to consumers, while providing certain relief to those customers affected by these issues.”
The mold is a result of environmental conditions that affect all outdoor surfaces, not just the Trex products involved in the suit, Kaplan added.
Trex products are stocked in more than 6,000 retail locations, the company said.