Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the litigation.
Detailed information about the litigation is contained in the Notice that is available here.
If you do not find an answer to your question here, please contact us directly.
How do I know if I have the Siding that is the subject of this lawsuit?
All CertainTeed fiber cement products can be easily identified by one of two means, both of which are accepted by the company when processing product warranty claims:
- Product control and identification numbers imprinted on the reverse side of the fiber cement siding will always be present and will include one of these essential initials:
• TH (Terre Haute Plant)
• WC (White City Plant)
• RR (Roaring River Plant)
- Unique fingerprint of wood grain in fiber cement siding: CertainTeed WeatherBoards are imprinted with a wood grain pattern that includes a characteristic knot recognizable in photographs as well as in siding samples.
There are several other ways to find out if you have the Siding:
- Check your purchase or repair documents. You may have receipts, warranties, bills of sales, or brochures from when you purchased or repaired your Siding. These documents may say that the Siding was installed on your property.
- The contractor or company that installed or repaired your Siding may know whether or not the Siding was installed.
- See if you still have packaging material for the Siding. The installer may have left a package of leftover Siding in your garage or basement and you may be able to identify it from the packaging.
- Ask a contractor or builder. An experienced contractor or builder may be able to tell by looking at your property whether you may have the Siding.
What is Qualifying Damage?
Qualifying Damage to Siding means damage caused by a defect in the Siding that is manifested as shrinkage between the ends of Siding in excess of 3/16” except that for Siding installed abutting windows, doors or trim, shrinkage must exceed 5/16”. In addition, Siding with warping or bowing in excess of 1/2″, field and edge cracking through the board, or delamination is also Qualifying Damage.
Siding means CertainTeed WeatherBoards™ Fiber Cement Siding, Lap Siding, Vertical Siding, Shapes, Soffit, Porch Ceiling, and 7/16” Trim installed on or before September 30, 2013.
Sample Pictures of Qualified Siding
Pictures of eligible siding can be found by clicking here.
Claim Value Estimation Calculator
This web-based calculator provides only a rough and preliminary estimate of possible payments from the settlement. The calculator is based on costs as of the date the Court preliminarily approved the settlement, in October, 2013.
Click here to continue: Claim Value Estimation Calculator
CERTAINTEED WARRANTY INFORMATION
If I have already settled a warranty claim for the Siding with CertainTeed, may I receive any additional remedy under the settlement?
If you previously settled or resolved a warranty claim for all Siding prior to the Effective Date, you have no claim under this Agreement unless you have new Qualifying Damage, or your settled claim was paid by CertainTeed under SureStart after the Effective Date of the Settlement as explained in the previous answer regarding SureStart claims. Claims or portions of claims that have been settled or resolved include: (i) claims or portions of claims that have been resolved with a final judgment or dismissal, whether or not favorable to the claimant; or (ii) claims or portions of claims that have been settled as evidenced by a written release of CertainTeed; or (iii) claims or portions of claims for which you have received compensation for replacement siding, such as by a check for Siding or labor that has been cashed; or (iv) claims or portions of claims for which you have received replacement material by redeeming a material authorization letter from CertainTeed.
What if I submitted a warranty claim for the Siding to CertainTeed, but never settled the claim with CertainTeed?
If you previously submitted a warranty claim to CertainTeed, received an offer from CertainTeed for the warranty claim, but have not yet accepted the offer, you should submit a Claim form and state in the Claim Form that you received such an offer. Your claim will be considered, but you still have to meet all of the criteria in the settlement, such as whether you have the Siding, whether it exhibits Qualifying Damage under the definition in the Agreement, and whether the Qualifying Damage was caused by a defect.
What happens at the end of the six-year Claim Period? Does the settlement extinguish or have any effect on the 25 year or 50 year limited warranty that came with the purchase of your Siding?
No. The Settlement Agreement does not extinguish or have any effect on the 25 year or 50 year limited warranty that came with the purchase of your Siding. This means that after the claims period ends, you may still make a claim under your warranty during the warranty period.
What if I experience damage to my Siding within the first two years after it is installed? Does the settlement extinguish or have any effect on the SureStart protection provided by CertainTeed’s limited warranty?
No. The Settlement Agreement does not extinguish or have any effect on the SureStart protection provided by CertainTeed limited warranty. If you still have a valid SureStart warranty, you should first make a claim with CertainTeed under that warranty. After accepting compensation under the SureStart warranty, you may make a claim in the Settlement to recover the amount (if any) that exceeds what you already received from CertainTeed under the SureStart warranty.
Do the amounts paid under the settlement for labor costs include the cost of removing and disposing of the Siding that is being replaced?
Yes. When calculating the amount a Claimant will receive under the settlement for labor costs, the cost to remove and dispose of the Siding that is being replaced as well as the costs of installing the new Siding will be included.
What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you have the Siding on your building, all decisions made by the Court in this lawsuit or about the settlement will apply to you. If the Court approves the settlement, you will have released CertainTeed from any further claims against it about the issues settled in this lawsuit, and you can’t ever sue CertainTeed again about these issues. This is true even if you do not send in a Claim Form for a remedy.
However, you will retain the right to make a claim under the Agreement until six years after the Effective Date. There is a shorter deadline if you sold the building.
What if I don’t want to be part of the settlement or the Settlement Class?
The exclusion deadline has past; you may no longer exclude yourself from the settlement.
What Siding is the subject of this lawsuit?
The Siding that is the subject of this lawsuit (called “Siding” throughout this Notice) is CertainTeed Weatherboards™ Fiber Cement Siding, Lap Siding, Vertical Siding, Shapes, Soffit, Porch Ceiling, and 7/16” Trim installed on or before September 30, 2013. Other companies also make fiber cement siding but this lawsuits involves only fiber cement siding made by CertainTeed.
Pictures of eligible siding can be found here:
Pictures of Eligible Siding
What is this class action about?
The Representative Plaintiffs allege that the Siding is subject to shrinkage, warping, cracking, bowing, delamination and otherwise does not perform in accordance with the reasonable expectations of users. CertainTeed denies these allegations. The proposed settlement is intended to resolve this dispute. The Court has not decided in favor of either the Class or CertainTeed. The Court’s role in the settlement is to make sure it is a proper settlement that is fair, reasonable, and adequate for all class members.
The Court in charge of this lawsuit is the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The name of the lawsuit is In re: CertainTeed Fiber Cement Siding Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2270. The judge is the Honorable Thomas P. O’Neill.
How do I know if I’m part of the settlement?
To see if you are eligible for a remedy under this settlement, you first have to know if you are a Settlement Class Member. You are a Settlement Class Member if:
As of September 30, 2013, you owned a home, residence, building, or other structure in the United States, on which the Siding was installed on or before September 30, 2013.
If you are a Settlement Class Member, you are only eligible for a remedy under the Agreement if you have an Eligible Claim. Briefly, this means that your Siding exhibits Qualifying Damage pursuant to the criteria set forth in the Agreement. You may also file a claim if you purchased a building on which the Siding was installed on or before September 30, 2013, and the seller did not retain the right to make a claim.
If you owned a building on which the Siding was installed on or before September 30, 2013, but sold it, you may file a claim only if (a) the purchaser assigned that right to you in writing, AND (b) your claim package is postmarked no later than the later of 90 days after the Effective Date of the Settlement Agreement or the settlement on the sale of the building. You must submit the written assignment of the claim with your claim package.
How to Receive a Remedy – Submitting a Claim Form
How can I receive a remedy under the settlement?
To qualify for a remedy, you must fill out and submit a Claim Form demonstrating the damage to your Siding, and attach all of the documentation it requests. You can obtain a copy of the Claim Form by:
calling this toll-free number: (855) 332-3413
visiting the Claims Eligibility section of this website
writing to: CertainTeed Fiber Cement Siding Litigation, c/o BMC Group, Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 2007, Chanhassen, MN 55317-2007
When will I receive my remedy?
On February 19, 2014 the Court will hold a hearing to decide whether or not to approve the settlement. If the Court approves the settlement, the Claims Administrator will begin reviewing each Claim Form submitted. Please note that there is often delay after a settlement like this is approved. For example, there may be appeals of the Court’s order approving the settlement, and payments can’t be made unless appeals are finished and the Court’s Order is upheld. Because of this, there could be a delay before the first claims are reviewed and deemed eligible. The claims will generally be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.
What if the Claims Administrator denies my claim?
If you believe the Claims Administrator wrongly denied your claim, you can appeal to an Independent Claims Reviewer. You cannot appeal a denial based on fraudulent conduct or an untimely claim application. (However, you may challenge denial of a claim based on fraudulent conduct by presenting the matter to the Court). Your appeal must be filed with the Claims Administrator within 45 days of your receipt of notice of the denial.
How does the settlement work?
CertainTeed will pay $103.9 million to settle the Class Action lawsuit. A Settlement Class Member with an Eligible Claim will be offered a cash payment in accordance with the Agreement. The amount available to each claimant is determined using the criteria described in the Settlement Agreement. Also, the amount payable to each claimant depends upon a number of factors such as (1) the extent of the Qualifying Damage; (2) how much of the siding on the wall has Qualifying Damage; (3) the size of the wall; and (4) the length of time the Siding has been installed.
Information about the payment available under the Agreement is supplied in answer to Questions 11 through 14 below. When you read the answers to those questions, keep in mind that compensation for eligible Claims is based in part on how long you have already been able to use the siding.
Date of Original Installation
The amount paid to each Class Member will be determined by using the pricing provided by “RS Means,” which is a widely accepted cost estimator used in the construction/building industry. RS Means accounts for regional differences in costs for labor and materials. However, the cost of your claim can be closely estimated as follows:
The average cost of installing fiber cement siding a home in the United States is approximately $500 per square (a “square” is 100 square feet of siding). Since the average home requires about 28 squares, the cost to re-side an average home is about $14,000. An example of a recovery for a Class Member would be as follows: If two out of the four sides of an average size home built in 2006 had Qualifying Damage in excess of 5%, and each of the sides was of equal size, then one-half of the 28 squares, or 14 squares would need to be replaced.
According to the schedule set forth above, which reflects both a reduction for the number of years of service the homeowner received from the Siding, and the compromises inherent in the Settlement process, the claim would be valued at $3,640 ((14 squares x $500/square) multiplied by .52). The Claimant could receive more than this amount if there are excess funds at the end of the claims period. In fact, the maximum amount payable could ultimately be the full value of the claim without an adjustment , depending upon the claims rate. In order to help you decide if this settlement is right for you, you can also contact your local contractor, most of whom will give you a free estimate of the cost to replace your siding.
In order to ensure that all Claimants are treated equally during the six year claims period, all claims will be paid on a two-payment schedule. The first payment will be in the amount of 50% of the claim value (in the above example that would be $1,820) as soon as the claim is administered. The second payment would be made at the end of the claims period, unless Class Counsel seeks approval from the Court to accelerate payments based on the claims rate.
If less than 5% of the siding on a single wall section has Qualifying Damage then the payment will be based on the actual number of boards or panels with damage. The siding material will be prorated based on the schedule in your warranty. All other costs associated with replacing the siding will be subject to the schedule set forth above.
If you siding was installed within the last two years, your SureStart warranty is likely still in force. If so, you must first make a claim with CertainTeed under the SureStart Warranty. However, if after making a claim with CertainTeed you believe you would have recovered more under this Settlement, then you can make a claim in this settlement too. If this Settlement would have provided you more, you will be paid the difference between what CertainTeed paid and what the Settlement provides.
The Settlement allows a class member to make more than one claim during the claims period, however, a Claimant cannot collect twice for the same wall section for which they previously received compensation.
How will the lawyers be paid?
The lawyers who represent the Settlement Class will ask the Court for reimbursement of their out of pocket expenses and an award of attorneys’ fees and costs based on their work in this litigation in an amount not to exceed $18.5 million in attorneys’ fees and $500,000 in costs. The cost of notice and claims administration is estimated to be $1.7 million. The costs of notice, claims administration, and attorneys’ fees and costs will be paid from the Settlement Fund. The amount of attorneys’ fees to be awarded will be determined solely by the Court. The amount of the award will in large part be based on the amount of time spent by the lawyers litigating this case since 2010. The Court must approve any requests for fees, expenses, and costs.
Will the Class Representatives who have worked with the lawyers receive any extra payment?
Yes. To compensate them for work in this litigation, the Class Representatives will be paid an incentive payment. The incentive payments must be approved by the Court and will likely be from $2,500 to $5,000 per Class Representative, depending upon the extent of a representative’s involvement in the case. In no event will the funds payable to all Class Representatives exceed $100,000.
When and where will the Court decide whether or not to approve the settlement?
The final approval hearing was February 19, 2014 at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, James A. Byrne Federal Courthouse, 601 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. The court approved the settlement on March 20, 2014.
Are more details about the settlement and my rights under the settlement available?
This Notice and website summarizes the settlement and your rights under the settlement. It cannot tell you every right to which you may be entitled. To obtain further information or advice about your legal rights, you may contact Class Counsel or consult a lawyer at your own expense.
More details about the terms of the settlement are set forth in the Agreement, found under the Case Documents section of this website. If you have questions or want to know more about the settlement, you can call the Claims Administrator toll-free at (855) 332-3413, or write to: CertainTeed Fiber Cement Siding Litigation, c/o BMC Group, Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 2007, Chanhassen, MN 55317-2007.
You can also look at and copy the legal documents filed in this lawsuit at any time during regular office hours at the Office of the Clerk of the Court, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, James A. Byrne Federal Courthouse, 601 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1797.