Trex wins court approval to settle class action lawsuit

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: August 22, 2013 3:30 pm ET
Updated: August 22, 2013 3:32 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Legal, Construction, Deck & railing, Extrusion, Pipe/Profile/Tubing

Plastic lumber major Trex Co. Inc. has preliminary court approval to settle a class action lawsuit alleging products had mold and color problems.

Trex of Winchester, Va., announced the court decision Aug. 22. The U.S. District Court in San Francisco granted preliminary approval on Aug. 19.

Trex estimates the cost of the settlement at $8.25 million plus $1.475 million in attorneys’ fees for the plaintiffs’ counsel, pending final court approval. Relief will be available to consumers who experienced a certain level of mold growth, color fading or color variation in first-generation Trex products bought between Aug. 1, 2004 and Aug. 19, 2013. Trex plans to post the claim resolution process on its website.

The class action was the second faced by Trex. Several years ago it settled a previous class action for first-generation Trex and Timbrex decking and railing alleged to rot, splinter and degrade. That settlement was for products sold up to July 31, 2004. The suit was approved for class action by the Superior Court of New Jersey in Newark, N.J. Under terms of the settlement, Trex was obligated to replace class members’ products and to refrain from advertising that its products did not require sealant and were maintenance-free.

Trex competitor Advanced Environmental Recycling Technologies Inc. also settled a class action suit several years ago. The suit, filed in Seattle, was for its ChoiceDek product line. AERT agreed to replace deck boards and to pay $1.75 million in legal fees. AERT also made available an instructional video tape about cleaning its products.

Trex officials said in an email correspondence that they expect final court approval for its latest settlement early in 2014. The company stated in a news release that it believes it would have successfully defended itself in a trial.

“Our decision to settle the case is by no means an admission of any of the allegations made by the plaintiffs,” said Trex Chairman, President and CEO Ronald Kaplan. “This settlement allows our company to avoid additional expensive, time-consuming litigation and to focus on delivering quality products and service to consumers, while providing certain relief to those customers affected by these issues.”

Kaplan claimed that mold growth results from environmental conditions and can affect all outdoor surfaces, including deck components made by other companies. Color changes naturally occur over time and color variation can be expected between newly made boards, he added. Trex stresses its marketing information informs customers of these issues.

Trex has developed higher performance wood/plastic composite decking to address consumer concerns, Kaplan explained. In 2010 it debuted Trex Transcend, which has a proprietary shell that resists fading, stains, scratching and mold. More recently it expanded choice of such protected decking with its Enhance and Select product lines. By the end of 2013 Trex’s plants in Winchester and in Fernley, Nev., will make only the new types of decking.

Trex said in an email that the new, protected decking is a wood/polyethylene composite with proprietary additives. It claims recycled content accounts for 95 percent of its decking.


Comments

Trex wins court approval to settle class action lawsuit

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: August 22, 2013 3:30 pm ET
Updated: August 22, 2013 3:32 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Mexico's Polymer Solutions looks to grow, expand offerings with name change

January 23, 2015 12:03 pm ET

British biodegradable additives developer Symphony Environmental Technologies plc's Mexico distributor has changed its name from Plásticos...    More

Image

Recycling Partnership coalition kicks off its initial curbside project

January 22, 2015 3:51 pm ET

The Recycling Partnership's inaugural effort to boost curbside recycling around the country kicked off this week in Columbia, S.C.    More

Image

ACC's 'Roadmap' gaining traction

January 22, 2015 1:56 pm ET

Nearly a year into the launch of the latest effort to promote greater use of plastics in automotive applications, a trade group behind the push says...    More

Image

Auto supplier Cooper-Standard to trim operations in Europe

January 22, 2015 11:08 am ET

Novi, Mich.-based Cooper-Sandard Holdings Inc. said Jan. 21 it plans to consolidate its operations in Europe, including reducing manufacturing in...    More

Image

Speaker: Designers, materials firms must collaborate in auto lightweighting

January 21, 2015 2:17 pm ET

With aggressive federal automobile mileage standards now just a decade away, Jeffrey Sternberg is convinced that plastics can play an important role i...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events