A proposed class action lawsuit filed in New York claims that fiber cement siding sold by Allura USA LLC, Plycem USA and Elementia USA contains hidden defects that cause the product to deteriorate within a few years.
According to the case, the defendants’ fiber cement siding suffers from a latent defect that makes the product “prone to cracking, splitting, peeling and/or flaking,” which can in turn cause damage to the underlying structure. The 15-page suit alleges the defects were present from the manufacturing stage and, as a result, were known to the defendants at the time the products went onto the market. Those who purchased the siding, however, were left unaware as to the issue. From the complaint (emphasis ours):
“Because the defects in the Siding are latent and not detectable at the time of purchase until manifestation, Plaintiff and the Class Members were not reasonably able to discover their Siding was defective even in the exercise of due diligence.”
The complaint states that the defendants have made numerous misrepresentations about their fiber cement siding in an attempt to make the products look superior, including claiming in marketing materials that the siding is:
Suitable for hot and cold climates;
Designed to endure harsh weather;
Not susceptible to rot, warp or splintering;
Designed to last longer than traditional cladding or vinyl siding; and
Free from manufacturing defects.
Customers relied on such representations, the case says, and have incurred thousands of dollars in damages to replace the siding and repair resulting damage to their properties.
The complaint further claims that the defendants breached their warranties with proposed class members. The defendants promised that the siding would be free from defects in the materials for 50 years and from defective workmanship for 10 years – and would be replaced free of charge should it fail. When the lead plaintiff alerted Allura to problems with her siding and attempted to have it replaced, however, the defendant neglected to perform the necessary work.
The suit contends that the defendants’ practices constitute negligence, breach of express warranty, and false advertising, as well as violations of New York’s General Business Law. These practices have caused trouble for the defendants in the past, as the companies have previously faced similar lawsuits over their fiber cement siding products.
The suit seeks to represent a class covering “all persons and entities that own structures within the United States in which Defendants’ siding is installed.”