Allura, Plycem USA, and Elementia USA are among the defendants in a proposed class action lawsuit in which a Massachusetts consumer claims fiber cement siding manufactured and sold by the companies is inherently defective. According to the 20-page complaint, the defendants’ siding is prone to “cracking, splitting, and breakage,” which can create paths that allow for water and moisture to seep in and damage a building upon which the siding is installed. The lawsuit, which looks to cover a class of Massachusetts consumers, outright alleges the defendants’ siding, advertised by the companies as offering protection for up to 50 years, is not suitable for use as an exterior building product.
The case traces the alleged defects in the defendants’ siding to the companies’ use of excessive fly ash—rather than common grain and silica used by other siding makers—as an ingredient in its manufacture. According to the lawsuit, the fly ash, a byproduct of coal-burning power plants that’s cheaper than cement, became unevenly distributed throughout the siding during the manufacturing process. The defendants’ decision to use an excessive amount fly ash, the lawsuit alleges, resulted in the siding becoming brittle and overly porous, issues that would not have arisen had the companies’ used grain and silica sand formulations.
As the plaintiff tells it, the defendants “knew or reasonably should have known” their siding was defectively designed and manufactured such that the product fails prematurely.