Fiberon sued over mold issues
A group of plaintiffs seeking class action status have filed a lawsuit against decking manufacturer Fiberon over its Portico wood composite line. The lawsuit, filed March 14 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by Hagens Berman, a Seattle-based firm, claims that the decking has a defect that results in the growth of mold, mildew and other fungal growth. Furthermore, the complaint claims that Fiberon refused to repair the decks under its 20-year warranty.
Fiberon calls the allegations “completely false” and blames the staining on a lack of routine maintenance by the homeowners who filed the lawsuit.
One of the plaintiffs, David Fleisher of North Wales, Pa., claims his deck developed black spots “soon” after he purchased it. (No time period was given.) Fleisher had the deck cleaned, he said, but the black spots reappeared. He wrote to Fiberon, seeking relief under the warranty, and was told that the spots were most likely mold or mildew, according to the lawsuit.
Instead of repairing the damage or replacing the decking, “the company tells consumers to remove the fungus, mold or mildew with chemical products at their own expense,” the lawsuit claims. “However, consumers say the cleaning method does not prevent the mold from reappearing.”
Edie Kello, director of marketing communications, told Home Channel News that the surface staining was not a manufacturing defect but a failure to comply with the company’s recommendations on the maintenance of outdoor products.
“Outdoor products like decking, siding, concrete and even patio furniture require periodic cleaning to keep them looking good,” Kello said. “The overwhelming majority of our customers comply with periodic cleaning instructions and therefore have no issues whatsoever. It cannot be our responsibility to maintain them once they are installed.”
Kello added that the company “has a long record of honoring its warranties and will continue to do so.”
Hagens Berman is counting on the fact that there are other unhappy Portico deck owners to join its lawsuit. The firm noted that some of Fiberon’s competitors offered similar composite decking products, which also developed mold problems and resulted in class action lawsuits. Trex is still paying claims for a lawsuit it settled over composite decking in 2009. Fiberon no longer sells Portico Decking.
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Builders FirstSource opens new location
Builders FirstSource, the Southeastern LBM chain, has announced the opening of a new lumberyard in Jarrell, Texas. The Central Texas facility will primarily serve the greater Austin market.
The facility, situated on 8.2 acres, includes a 40,000 sq. ft. warehouse with an additional 6,000 square feet of office space. Its product offerings will include a full line of structural and related building products, including lumber, trusses, panels, windows, doors, millwork and various other building related products.
In a prepared statement, president and CEO Floyd Sherman said: “We look forward to increasing our presence in the state of Texas and specifically the greater Austin market, which continues to be one of the strongest housing markets in the nation."
Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Builders FirstSource operates 52 lumberyards and 44 manufacturing facilities in 9 states, principally in the southern and eastern United States.
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Hammond Lumber responds to inquires about reported fires
Hammond Lumber Co. has issued a statement about a recent incident in the town of Rumford, Maine, on March 11 about the reports of trespassing by two 15-year-old boys who created two small fires at 80 Prospect St. After receiving many calls with concerns from customers and vendors about the situation, the company issued the following statement:
"Since the incident on March 11, we have heard from customers and vendors in Maine and across the country who have expressed their concerns to us about what they’ve read or heard about the small fires leading them to think the incident occurred at a current Hammond Lumber Yard. We feel it is necessary to communicate that there were no explosions, and the small fires did not take place at one of our 12 locations," said Rod Wiles, spokesperson and executive in charge of communications at Hammond Lumber.
"The fires took place at a building owned by MJH, LLC, a real estate holding company. The building was for sale and was unoccupied. We are very thankful that no one was hurt and commend the Rumford police and fire department who quickly responded," Wiles added.
On March 11, two teenagers forced entry into the unoccupied space at 80 Prospect St., site of the former Puiia Hardware building. According to Rumford police, the two individuals cut the locks and started two small fires inside the location using it as a "clubhouse." The small campfire caused smoke and a small amount of soot. There was no structural damage to the building.
The two teenagers have been charged with criminal mischief and trespassing by the Rumford Police Department and will appear in Rumford District Court on May 8.
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