Shingles are not supposed to blister, crack, and leak within a year after installation. Six recently filed class action lawsuits, however, allege that the “Chalet” line of asphalt shingles made by the Atlas Roofing Corporation do just that.
There are allegations that Chalet's line of asphalt shingles experience premature blistering and cracking.
Now, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has issued an order consolidating six federal lawsuits filed against Atlas Roofing alleging that the Chalet shingles are defective and that the company has failed to honor its 30-year warranty. The lawsuits have been consolidated to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr. will preside over the litigation. The order states that the lawsuits should be consolidated into a single proceeding because they contain “common questions of fact arising from allegations that defendant’s Chalet line of asphalt shingles experience premature blistering and cracking, increased moisture penetration and otherwise fail to perform as warranted.”
The rules of procedure applicable to federal courts allow multiple cases involving the same set of facts to be consolidated in a single proceeding. Consolidation increases the efficiency of the legal system and preserves scarce judicial resources. Now that the Chalet shingles lawsuits have been consolidated, the litigation will enter the discovery phase, where Atlas Roofing will be required to turn over any documents that are relevant to the allegations contained in the lawsuits. The plaintiffs may also be asked to produce evidence that the shingles are indeed defective, as well as proof of any economic harm they have incurred.
The Atlas Chalet shingle, which has now been discontinued, is a granule shingle designed to provide a three-dimensional appearance similar to the more expensive “architectural shingle.” Homeowners have reported numerous problems with the Chalet shingles including blistering, early granule loss, wear pits, increased moisture absorption, and premature failure.
The lawsuits allege that Atlas Roofing negligently designed the shingles, because moisture is able to enter them, creating gas bubbles that cause blistering and cracking. The cracked shingles sometimes leak, resulting in property damage to the home. According to the lawsuits, the Chalet shingles do not satisfy industry standards. Furthermore, the lawsuits allege that Atlas Roofing’s response to warranty claims and requests for assistance was “woefully inadequate.”