April 1998 Edition

MasoniteSiding Class Action Lawsuit

We heard they have settled the Class Action Lawsuit against Masonite Corporation on the exterior siding. Could you give us the details?
n January 15, 1998, the Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama, granted final approval to a Settlement in the lawsuit known as Naef v. Masonite, CV-94-4033. The Settlement provides a program for eligible claimants to recover the costs associated with damage caused by the installation and incorporation of Masonite Hardboard Siding.
If you had or have exterior Masonite Hardboard Siding installed and incorporated into your property between January 1, 1980 and January 15, 1998, you may have a right to compensation for damage associated with your siding if you file a timely claim.
If you believe that you have Masonite Hardboard Siding on your home or structure, but have not yet experienced any damage, it is important that you submit the Claim Form Request if and when such damage occurs. Keep this information for future reference.
Claims—Seven Year Program: January 15, 2005
Claims—Ten Year Program: January 15, 2008
The Settlement provides a seven (7) year and ten (10) year claims program. If you own Masonite Hardboard Siding installed and incorporated into a home or other structure between January 1, 1980, and December 31, 1989, you must file your claim(s) under the Seven Year Program by January 15, 2005. If you own Masonite Hardboard Siding installed and incorporated into a home or other structure between January 1, 1990 and January 15, 1998, you have ten years, until January 15, 2008 within which to file your claim(s). Once the Settlement expires, the remainder of Masonite's warranty, if any will remain in effect, and you may be entitled to receive compensation for siding that fails under the terms of Masonite's warranty program separate and apart from this Settlement.
How do I know if I have Masonite Siding?
If you do not already know whether you have Masonite Hardboard Siding on your property, there are several steps you may take to make that determination. You may wish to contact the builder of your property or you may remove a board or sheet of the siding and inspect the reverse side. You may be able to see the back of the siding if you have an unfinished garage or basement. Just remove the wall sheathing.  Also, look to see if you have an attic gable with the back side of the siding exposed.
How do you identify Masonite Siding?

         Masonite 1

Masonite siding is typically identified by a stamp of the name "Masonite" and/or the number "X90" on the back of the siding itself. Example: Look for 3” high printing that reads-
You may also take a piece of your siding to your local building supply store, which may be able to assist you. As part of the claims process, you will be required to establish that you have Masonite Hardboard Siding on your property.  Your siding may one of the three following configurations:

Masonite 2

masonite 3

Masonite 4

The back side of the siding may has a texture that looks like one of the following: 

Definitions of Damage
To be entitled to payment under the Settlement, an Eligible Claimant must be determined to have compensable Damage as defined by the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement defines Damage as follows:
1)    Thickness swell exceeding a specified tolerance percentage.
2)    Edge checking exceeding specified limits.
3)    Fungal degradation which results in soft board in which moderate thumb pressure deforms or punches a hole in the board.
4)    Buckling exceeding specified limits.
5)    Wax bleed, or raised or popped fibers or fiber bundles.
6)    Delaminated or cracked primer or primer peel or peeling, blistering or cracking of Colorlok siding finish.
7)    Surface welting, or swelling around nail heads. The existence of any one of these problems qualifies the siding for compensation.
Damage does not include:
1)    Intentional, reckless or negligent damage to siding (unrelated to installation or maintenance).
2)    Conditions requiring routine painting, washing, caulking or similar maintenance.
3)    Damage to siding to the extent resulting from natural disaster including, but not limited to, fire, hurricane, flood, earthquake, earth movement or other similar events.
Compensation Formula
The Settlement Agreement contains a Compensation Formula, which will be the measure of payments to which an Eligible Claimant is entitled for the damage to a home or other structure. As agreed by the parties, the Compensation Formula will be based on (1) the average cost per square foot for siding replacement, including all material and labor as calculated by industry standards in your area, adjusted annually for inflation, or (2) the cost of appropriate refinishing as determined by industry standards in your area, also adjusted for inflation. If more than 50% of a wall section is found to have compensable damage, then an Eligible Claimant will receive compensation, determined by the Compensation Formula, for that entire wall section. If 75% of the Masonite Hardboard Siding square footage of the structure qualifies for compensation, then an Eligible Claimant will receive compensation, as determined by the Compensation Formula, for the entire structure.
The Settlement Agreement also provides for an age deduction based on the number of years the Masonite Hardboard Siding has been installed and incorporated into the structure. For the first five (5) years following installation, there is no deduction and Eligible Claimants will be entitled to full payment. For each year thereafter, there will be a deduction of three percent (3%) per year for use of the Masonite Hardboard Siding, up to a maximum deduction of twenty-seven percent (27%).
For more information or to receive a Notice of Class Action Settlement with the claim form request postcard, please call 1-800-330-2722 or check out http:www.masoniteclaims.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

“We cannot direct the wind...

But we can adjust the sails”

- Unknown

A Tip Of The Hat To:

Connie Garman

Northside Realty

Alpharetta, Georgia

****Thank You****