February 1999 Edition

Masonite OmniWood Siding Class Action?

We understand there are two class action law suits against Masonite Corporation. What is the latest one about?
I am sure people are getting tired reading about all of the class action law suits going around. However, it does affect our industry and professionals should be kept up to date on the products involved.
In 1997, Jeff Cosby and other homeowners filed a lawsuit called Cosby, et al. v. Masonite Corp., et al., No. CV-98-2446. The Cosby Plaintiffs, who own structures with exterior Masonite OmniWood Siding, brought the case as a class action against defendants Masonite Corporation and International Paper Company (together, "Masonite" or "Defendants") on behalf of all individuals or entities owning property in the United States on which Masonite OmniWood Siding manufactured since 1992 is incorporated and installed.
Masonite was a leading manufacturer of an oriented strandboard siding product made from wood fiber, wax, resins, and a hardboard overlay that is widely known as OmniWood siding. The siding in very similar to Louisiana Pacific’s Inner Seal siding.

Siding 1

Masonite OmniWood siding was distributed both in lap (board) and panel (sheet) applications, each available in various external textures designed to look like conventional lumber siding. Masonite marketed OmniWood siding products for a variety of external construction uses, including exterior siding for residential and other structures.
Plaintiffs allege that OmniWood siding manufactured by Masonite Corporation on or after January 1, 1992, and installed and incorporated into commercial and/or rental property and residences, will rot, buckle, discolor, deteriorate, and cause damage to other structural parts of the buildings into which it is incorporated, causing the Class Members to suffer and continue to suffer damages.
How do you know if you have Masonite OmniWood Siding?

Siding 2

You may wish to contact the builder of your property. Masonite OmniWood siding is typically identified by the size of the fiber overlays on the back of the siding. Masonite OmniWood Siding has fine, toothpick-size fiber overlays as opposed to the much thicker thumb-size fiber overlays found on the back of other manufacturers' oriented strandboard siding products. If you have a garage or basement with the back side of the siding exposed, you may be able to identify it without removing a piece. If not, you may end up having to remove a board or sheet of the siding and inspect the reverse side. You may also take a piece of your siding to your local building supply store, which may be able to assist you.  Masonite’s name may or may not be stamped on the back.
Additional information is available by calling 1-800-256-6990. This information, the Settlement Agreement, and the Court's Settlement-related orders are also available on the Internet at: http://www.kinsella.com/Masonite. If you decide to remain a Member of the Class and you wish to communicate with Class Counsel, you may do so by writing to Class Counsel, c/o 1301 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2929, Seattle, WA 98101, Fax: (206) 623-0594.

Fire Sprinkler Safety Recall And Class Action Settlement?

Central Sprinkler Company and the United Consumer Product Safety Commission are announcing a settlement involving the recall and replacement of approximately 8.4 million Omega brand fire sprinklers manufactured since 1982 by Central. Omega fire sprinklers are installed in the garages of many homes and in commercial buildings around the country.
Numerous models of the Omega fire sprinklers are involved. On most models, consumers will be able to see one to three flat round metal disks stacked one above the other with a small space between each disk. However, because it may be difficult to determine whether Omegas are installed, consumers are encouraged to call the toll free number below for product identification or contact their architect, builder, sprinkler contractor, plumber, homeowners’ association or property manager to determine if Omegas are installed in their residence.
Homeowners are urged to take immediate action and call the Omega information line to learn more about the recall, how to identify Omega sprinklers, obtain a Proof of Claim form, and obtain further information about the Settlement.
For consumers to get replacement sprinklers and any reimbursement towards installation costs, they must submit the Proof of Claim and Release Forms to Central postmarked by August 1, 1999.  Release forms postmarked after August 1, 1999 still qualify to receive replacement sprinklers though not reimbursement. For further information and a copy of the Recall and Full Notice of Class Action Settlement, call 1-800-896-5685 or visit www.omegarecall.com.

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.

Quote Of The Month

“Why not go out on a limb?

Isn’t that where the fruit is?”

- Unknown

A Tip Of The Hat To:

Art Worley

Re/Max North Atlanta Affiliates

1585 Holcomb Bridge Road

Roswell, Georgia 30076   

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