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

Inteplast expands in corrugated sheet with Coroplast deal

August 21, 2014 5:28 pm ET

Packaging major Inteplast Group has acquired its main competitor in corrugated plastic sheet, Coroplast Inc. Inteplast gets corrugated sheet plants...    More

Image

Non-recyclable items gumming up the works at recycling centers

August 21, 2014 3:46 pm ET

The influx of all sorts of unacceptable items at recycling centers has gotten to the point that Charlotte, N.C.-based ReCommunity is trying to bring...    More

Image

Bayer, SCAC partner on water reuse project

August 21, 2014 12:48 pm ET

Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) and Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co. Ltd. (SCAC) have entered into a preliminary agreement for the reuse of waste water ...    More

Image

Ply Gem continues acquisition streak, buying Simonton for $130 million

August 20, 2014 2:33 pm ET

Building materials manufacturer Ply Gem Holdings Inc. will acquire Simonton Windows from Fortune Brands Home & Security in a $130 million deal that...    More

Image

Automakers look under the hood for the next lightweighting opportunities

August 20, 2014 1:06 pm ET

The automotive industry's current favorite target for lightweighting efforts is the powertrain, according to a recent survey.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

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

More Events