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Global Decking Maker Settles $8.3M Suit

Thursday, January 16, 2014

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Trex Company Inc.—a global producer of high-performance wood-alternative decking and railing products—will pay up to $8.25 million to settle a national class-action lawsuit alleging that the company sold defective decks prone to mold and discoloration. 

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted final approval Dec. 16 of the settlement to resolve Mahan v. Trex Company Inc.

Under the terms of the settlement, Trex will provide a one-time cash payment or the opportunity to receive other relief, including a rebate certificate on its newer-generation shelled products, to qualified claimants, according to the Winchester, VA-based company’s announcement.

PRNewsFoto / Trex Company

Trex Company is the world's largest manufacturer of high performance wood-alternative decking and railing, with more than 20 years of product experience, according to the company’s website. The recent settlement is its second class action settlement in the last four years.

"We are pleased to have a final resolution of this matter, with terms we feel are fair to both Trex and our consumers," said Ronald W. Kaplan, chairman, president and CEO of Trex.

The claim resolution process, the settlement agreement and class notice are available here.

The Class Action

The case, initiated by 11 plaintiffs on Jan. 19, 2009, alleged that certain first-generation non-shelled wood-plastic composite decking materials were susceptible to mold, mildew, fungal or other dark or gray growth or spotting, color variation or color fading.

According to the products' 25-year warranty, the decks would not suffer from material defects or damage from fungal decay, the plaintiffs alleged.

Trex denied the allegations, arguing that the fungal damage was related to environmental factors that were not covered by the warranty.

However, the company has agreed to pay $8.25 million to resolve the case. Trex denies liability in the case and said it had agreed to the settlement to avoid additional time-consuming and costly litigation.

Settlement Details

The settlement is available to any qualified claimant who purchased a first-generation Trex composite product between Aug. 1, 2004, and Aug. 27, 2013; who is seeing a certain level of mold growth, color fading or color variation in the material; and who meets certain other requirements as set forth in the settlement agreement, according to the company.

The company will also pay $1.475 million in attorneys’ fees to the plaintiffs' counsel, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.

In March 2010, Trex agreed to a class-action settlement over allegations that its decking and railing products were susceptible to surface flaking.

About Trex Company

Trex Company is the world's largest manufacturer of high-performance wood-alternative decking and railing, with more than 20 years of product experience, according to the company’s website.

The company’s products are available in more than 6,000 retail locations worldwide.


Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Business management; Business matters; Color; Decorative Finishes; Lawsuits; Mold; Warranties

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