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Product Liability

Alleged Defects in HardiBoard Siding Lead to Class Action Lawsuit

This Alert Affects:

Consumers whose properties have been outfitted with James Hardie fiber cement siding.

Allegedly, the exterior fiber cement siding fails prematurely, causing damage to underlying structures and other property due to moisture invasion. Signs that may indicate deterioration include warping, flaking, product shrinkage, cracking and discoloration.
James Hardie Industries, Ltd.
Additional Details
James Hardie markets and warrants its fiber cement exterior siding as "durable" and as providing long-lasting protection for 50 years without the need for maintenance. The siding is known informally among consumers and builders as "HardiBoard."
Type of Lawsuit
Class Action

Property owners who experienced problems with James Hardie fiber cement siding may be able to participate in a class action lawsuit to recover compensation for repair costs and other damages. It has been alleged that the company sold defectively designed and manufactured exterior fiber cement siding that can fail prematurely. Because James Hardie allegedly released a defective product into the marketplace and falsely advertised the quality of its siding, consumers experiencing problems such as cracking and moisture invasion may have legal recourse.

What Problems Have Been Associated with James “HardiBoard” Siding?

It has been alleged that the siding fails prematurely, causing damage to underlying structures by allowing in moisture. Signs of deterioration may include:

  • Flaking
  • Discoloration
  • Cracking
  • Warping
  • Product shrinkage

In the most severe cases, the siding reportedly breaks and falls off the property.

Why Are Lawsuits Being Filed?

In addition to allegations of product defects, plaintiffs also claim the life expectancy of the product is less than 50 years, despite the fact that James Hardie widely advertised a 50-year warranty for the siding. Customers have also alleged that that some of the siding’s components are not protected by the warranty or are not covered by the entire 50-year period.

Other allegations posed by the lawsuit include:

  • The company failed to use an appropriate primer during the manufacturing process, leading to exacerbation of product defects
  • The siding problems are severe enough to require customers to replace the product at their own expense
  • James Hardie “knew or reasonably should have known the siding is defective as designed and manufactured such that the product fails prematurely”
  • James Hardie intentionally conceals the terms of its putative limited warranty by widely marketing a “50-year transferrable warranty” rather than a “limited warranty”
  • The company continued not to inform customers of known or potential problems even after the scope of the defects and consumer complaints became apparent

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Case Resources

In re Hardieplank Fiber Cement Siding Litigation Complaint
MDL number 2359, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
In re Hardieplank Fiber Cement Siding Litigation Transfer Order
MDL number 2359, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota