At Trex, a mold settlement hits end of the road
Winchester, Va.-based Trex Co. announced that on Dec. 16, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted final approval of a settlement that resolves a nationwide class action lawsuit alleging misrepresentations and defects in Trex’s first-generation composite products relating to mold growth and color issues.
The cost to Trex under the settlement is capped at $8.25 million, plus $1.475 million in attorneys’ fees.
“We are pleased to have a final resolution of this matter, with terms we feel are fair to both Trex and our consumers,” said Ronald W. Kaplan, chairman, president and CEO of Trex. “This settlement allows Trex to focus its attention on delivering our next generation of award-winning, high-performance outdoor living products.”
Under the terms of the settlement, Trex will provide a one-time cash payment or a rebate certificate on its newer-generation shelled products — Trex Transcend and Trex Enhance. The relief applies to consumers who bought Trex products between Aug. 1, 2004, and Aug. 27, 2013, and who experienced mold or color fading.
Housing starts cross the million mark
After a seemingly never-ending delay, the U.S. Census Bureau has at long last released housing starts data for the months of September, October and November; the results are way above previous estimates and mark a nearly six-year high for the metric.
Privately owned November housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million, or 22.7% above the revised October estimate of 889,000 and 29.6% above year-ago figures of 842,000.
Single-family November starts came in at 727,000, which is 20.8% above October’s revised figure of 602,000.
September 2013’s housing starts came in a bit lower at 873,000, or 580,000 for single-family units.
November’s high-water mark is the highest housing starts have been since February 2008, which is also the last time they hit above the million mark.
Additionally, the department hasn’t seen the likes of the 22.7% month-over-month increase since 1990.
Total building permits in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.007 million, which is 3.1% below the revised October estimate of 1.039 million but 7.9% higher than November 2012. Single-family permits came in at 634,000, above the revised October figure of 621,000.
Housing starts releases for September and October were both initially pushed back as a result of the 16-day partial government shutdown in October.