September 1998 Edition

Louisiana Pacific Siding Fund Out Of Money?

We heard that the Louisiana Pacific siding fund is running out of money. We have LP siding on our house and have not submitted a claim. Is it too late?                       
According to an article published in the July 24, 1998 edition of “The Wall Street Journal”, the fund set up to compensate homeowners with defective Louisiana Pacific “Inner Seal” siding is out of money. LP had agreed to pay up to $275 million dollars through the year 2002, and has put up $195 million so far. As of this past March, claims had reached $365 million. Lately, payments to homeowners have slowed to a trickle and the fund will probably be depleted by the end of August 1998. An estimated 48,000 claimants have received no money and new claims are pouring in at the rate of about 800 per week.
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It's unclear if the company will deposit any more money into the fund, and under the agreement, homeowners can't sue until the year 2000. So, what does this mean for you LP owners? (This part is my opinion and does not reflect the article) Well first, if you submitted your claim early and have been paid, congratulations on reaping the rewards of being prompt. Be sure and keep all of your records concerning the repairs in case you sell your home in the future.                       
If you're in the middle group, who have filed a claim but haven't been paid, you'll have to sit back and hope for the best. You may be compensated, but I wouldn't spend my days sitting on the porch waiting on the mailman. If your home is on the market or about to go on the market, be ready to either get out the checkbook or discount the price of the property. Many real estate disclosure statements require you to disclose if your house is clad with LP. Even if you're not required to disclose, you should anyway. If you have LP and you sell the property without this disclosure, you may well wind up on the wrong end of a lawsuit, whether you know it's LP or not.                       
Finally, if you’re in the last group...those who have put off making a claim, it's probably too late. You may still have some recourse against LP, but probably not if they live up to the settlement terms. It looks as though you'll be footing the entire bill. If you simply can't afford to have it all replaced, I'd recommend that you replace any damaged siding before it allows water to damage the framing of your home. If you've got siding that is functioning, take really good care of it. Keep it meticulously caulked and paint it thoroughly, with a first class paint. You'll need to do this on a regular basis. I suppose that if there's a moral to this story, it's: Investigate and Don't Procrastinate. Sometimes products just do not perform as intended. If you find that you have one that doesn't, pay attention and act quickly. And remember, it could be worse. You could have a home with asbestos insulation, radon seeping through the floor, Polybutylene water piping, LP on 3 sides and EIFS on the other, failing double paned windows, aluminum wiring, fire retardant roof sheathing, and the whole structure built on a trash heap.
Source: Charlie Wood at http://www.BuildingDefects.com/lpfund.htm

Georgia Pacific Siding Fund Is Closed

We have Georgia Pacific siding on our house. We just found out about the Class Action Lawsuit last week. What is the deadline for filing a claim?                                 
For the people who have Georgia Pacific Jarratt or Catawba hardboard siding on their homes, the deadline for filing a claim was August 18, 1998. At this time no further claims are being accepted. 
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For further information on the settlement, call 1-888-882-5246 or visit the Internet site at http://www.gpclaims.com. GP will commence the payment process of eligible claims substantially based on the order they were received. 

Another LP Law Suit

Is there a new Class Action Lawsuit against Louisiana Pacific?                       
Yes there is a new law suit, but this one is not about lapped siding. It is about 4x8 sheets of OSB sheathing. Plaintiffs who own structures in which OSB sheathing panels manufactured by LP ("LP OSB Sheathing") have been installed have instituted the Actions on behalf of themselves and all other persons similarly situated. The Plaintiffs allege that LP OSB Sheathing is defective and that LP intentionally or negligently manufactured and sold falsely-rated and falsely-certified OSB sheathing in breach of express and implied warranties and in violation of state and federal statutory provisions. The Actions seek monetary and injunctive relief. LP has denied any liability relating to its OSB Sheathing and that plaintiffs or class members are not entitled to damages or any other relief in the Actions. LP contends that its minimal claims history for the product supports its denial of the allegation that LP OSB Sheathing is defective. The Court has not made any rulings on the merits of Plaintiffs' claims or the defenses of  LP.                       
LP is a leading manufacturer of a broad class of products composed of thin wood flakes or "wafers" that are impregnated with resins and bonded under extreme pressure and heat into structural wood panels. These products are known as oriented strand board ("OSB") and are manufactured into wood panels, as well as other products, of various dimensions and thicknesses for a variety of internal construction uses, including roof, wall and floor sheathing in residential and commercial buildings. This product is used in the same manner as plywood in construction and might be found in structures in the same place you would expect to find plywood. The Actions and the Settlement do not concern OSB
products used for external use, such as lap and panel siding.

Source: http://www.homeinspectorbill.com/bb.htm#OWNERS


If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length. 


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