A group of property owners are claiming that a prominent wood-siding manufacturer committed consumer fraud by failing to honor its warranty obligations. A putative class action lawsuit filed in July in New Jersey federal court alleges that the Canada-based Maibec Inc. makes and sells eastern white cedar tree shingles which deteriorate four years after they are installed, well before the company’s 50-year warranty expires. According to lead plaintiff James Vander Veer, Maibec is aware that its products are defective and unable to substantiate the half-century guarantee against wood decay. Vander Veer and his co-plaintiffs claim that the company conceals their products’ susceptibility to warping and cracking, and continues to market their shingles fraudulently.
Allegedly, the shingles failed just four years after installation.
The charges of consumer fraud come after Vander Veer, the former owner of a New Jersey home improvement company, enlisted a subcontractor to install Maibec’s eastern white cedar tree shingles onto a client’s home. Allegedly, the shingles failed just four years after installation. According to lawsuit, Vander Veen was then forced into a settlement with the homeowners and Maibec refused to fix its shingles or revise its warranty.
Maibec, which is headquartered in Quebec, sells wood shingle siding in twelve states. According to the Maibec class action, the shingles are advertised as top quality, durable and resistant to weather and insect damage. The eight-count complaint charges the company with unjust enrichment, breach of warranty, strict products liability and violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
In New Jersey, as well as other states, consumer fraud occurs when a purchased product, service or property does not function as marketed. Any persons who have been deceived by fraudulent marketing are protected by state and federal consumer protection laws and may seek legal recourse through a consumer fraud lawsuit. Therefore, if you purchased the Maibec shingles discussed here, you may be entitled to a recovery for any damages and losses if this product is not functioning as advertised.