Deck lawsuits opposite to Azek are being consolidated in New Jersey
Three lawsuits reporting that PVC decks made by Azek Building Products and its parent company which is CPG International, Inc. contains some designing and manufacturing errors and were deceivingly promoted in market are being consolidated in New Jersey.
According to the most recent lawsuit, which is filed in January by a married couple in Massachusetts that that the decks are prone to cracking; discoloring, fading, chalking and degrading shortly after they are installed, Afterwards, their case was transferred to New Jersey on Feb. 25. This couple is joining at least 15 more consumers that are from other states in suing Azek and CPG for violate of obscure warranties, unfair enrichment and negligent misrepresentation among other claims.
Moreover, the other two more lawsuits were filed in New Jersey in 2012 and Illinois in 2013 and also include more number of complaints from Maryland, Virginia and Connecticut.
According to court records, the two similar lawsuits filed in New York and Florida was willingly closed.
Scranton, Pa.-based Azek and CPG are being staged by the New Jersey law firm of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC. The firm comes forth with a statement of three paragraphs. Plastics News on Feb. 27 that says :
“It is our policy not to discuss pending legal matters. We will continue to defend our company and our products against what we believe are meritless claims that relate to only a tiny fraction of the millions of feet of our product in use. At our request, these few lawsuits have been consolidated in New Jersey federal court, and motions to dismiss are currently pending.”
According to the latest rankings by Plastics News, CPG ranks 13th among North American pipe, profile and tubing extruders with having estimated sales of $260 million in the fencing, deck and railing end markets, Its supplementary, Azek, sells tens of thousands of decks very year and is placed at top rank in the quality category of Builder magazine’s 2014 brand study of composite and PVC decks. The results were gathered by mailing a survey to a sample of the magazine’s ten thousand and eight hundred people who read magazine.
CPG President Jason Grommon gave a statement in Jan. 21 that Azek has topped the Builder’s quality category three years in a row, which “reaffirms our consistent and unwavering commitment to manufacturing excellence.”
On the other hand, however, the lawsuits allege otherwise. The court filings say the defendants’ material chosen to create products begin to fail right away even if perfectly installed in its intended environment also.
One lawsuit mentions Azek’s “engineered” deck boards and another says titanium dioxide powder is released when exposed to sun and forms a surface layer that is known as chalking.
The law firms mentions in a statement that, “Quality and customer satisfaction are top priorities across all our product lines. Our decking and railing products meet or exceed national building code requirements from the International Code Council and Architectural Testing, Inc.
“…We have full confidence in all of our products and continue to stand behind their performance. All of our decking products are covered by a limited lifetime warranty. We respond to every customer inquiry that comes to our attention.”
However, the lawsuits say Azek deck buyers are being depressed of warranty coverage because the warranties are imperfect to performance issues and not aesthetic problems. The warranty says it is void below seven conditions, including “normal weathering of surfaces.”
The plaintiffs allege deceptive marketing by Azek — the company’s trademarked tagline is “Designed to last beautifully” — by pointing to deck product promotions with wording like “wood and composites rot, stain and fade. Azek does not.”
A U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation recommended Feb. 18 the existing lawsuits be central in New Jersey because for first time the lawsuit was filed there and the defendants are located close to in Scranton, and where much of the frequent evidences are also located.
Going further, any other related cases will be handled in New Jersey, according to Eric Holland, who is a lawyer and represents plaintiffs in the Illinois lawsuit.
Holland said in an email that “Additional filings are possible, which would be included in New Jersey as well,” “…this is now one consolidated case for all cases across the country.”
The information according to the lawsuits is probably the count of possible class members is believed to consist of thousands of consumers and the amount of damages exceeds $5 million.