Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Notice about?
The Notice is to inform you about the Settlement of a lawsuit that may affect your rights, before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement.
Several lawsuits related to the Siding have been consolidated into one case called In Re: Allura Fiber Cement Siding, Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2886, Case No. 2:19-mn-2886-DCN (D.S.C.). The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina is overseeing the lawsuit. The people that sued are called Plaintiffs, and the companies they sued are called the Defendants.
What is the lawsuit about?
In the lawsuit, Plaintiffs make claims about the durability of certain Allura branded fiber cement Siding. Plaintiffs claim that Siding manufactured in Plycem’s plant located in White City, Oregon between February 1, 2014 and May 7, 2014 and its plant located Roaring River, North Carolina plant between February 1, 2014 and February 18, 2015 contain excessive fly-ash1 in the formula. Plaintiffs allege that due to the excessive fly-ash in the Siding formula, the Siding is prone to cracking, bowing, shrinking, warping, breakage, or excessive gapping Defendants claim that the Siding is not defective. The Court has not made any determination regarding the claims or quality of the Siding.
1Fly-ash is a byproduct of coal production and is sometimes used in building products.
What is a class action?
In a class action, one or more people called class representatives sue on behalf of a group or a “class” of people who have similar claims. In a class action, the court resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who exclude themselves from the class.
WHO IS INCLUDED
How do I know if my Siding is part of the Settlement?
You may be included in the Settlement Class if you own a home with Siding manufactured in Plycem’s plant located in White City, Oregon between February 1, 2014 and May 7, 2014 or manufactured in Plycem’s Roaring River, North Carolina plant between February 1, 2014 and February 18, 2015. It is presumed that you have the Siding on your home if it was manufactured at Roaring River and installed between February 18, 2014 and September 1, 2015; and if it was manufactured at White City and installed between February 18, 2014 and September 1, 2014. A stencil marking on the back of each board shows the place and date of manufacture.
Am I included if I am included in the Settlement Class?
The Settlement only includes individuals or entities who, as of the Effective Date, own a single-family house in the United States on which the Siding is currently installed.
What about co-owners?
Where the home with Siding is owned jointly, the Settlement Class Member includes all persons on the title to the home. A co-owner may make a Claim or opt-out on behalf of the other owners, where he/she has the authority to do so. Otherwise, each owner must join in any submission of a Claim or opt-out.
Who is not included in the Settlement Class?
The Settlement Class does not include:
- All persons and entities who timely exercise their rights under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 to opt out of the Settlement (see # 14 – 17) below for more details about opting out of the Settlement);
- Owners of multi-family and commercial buildings;
- Claims that have previously been settled or resolved;2
- Defendants or any of its predecessors, successors, parent or subsidiary companies, affiliates, officers, directors, employees, agents, attorneys, representatives, insurers, suppliers, distributors or vendors; and
- Class Counsel and any member of Class Counsels’ immediate family; and
- The Judges, including Magistrate Judges, to whom the cases within the MDL Litigation were assigned in the transferor courts, the Judges, including Magistrate Judges, to whom the MDL Litigation is assigned, and any member of those Judges’, including Magistrate Judges’, immediate family.
2 There is not an exclusion for a Settlement Class Member submitting a new claim for Siding that was not the subject of a prior claim that was resolved or settled (i.e. new boards not previously claimed and released during a past warranty claim).
THE SETTLEMENT’S BENEFITS
What does the Settlement provide?
The Settlement covers claims for Qualifying Damage, evidenced by cracking, bowing, shrinkage, warping, breakage, or gapping (greater than 3/16”) in the Siding and, if available, evidence of the alleged property damage resulting from such failed Siding.
More details are in the Settlement Agreement, which is available on the Important Documents page.
What can I get?
The benefits you may receive are based on the total square footage of Siding exhibiting Qualifying Damage, which will determine the Replacement Area.
Replacement Area is determined by the percentage of Qualifying Damage on each Elevation (one continuous section/side) of the home. For each Elevation where Qualifying Damage exists on 30% or more of that Elevation, the Replacement Area will be the entire Elevation. Where Qualifying Damage exists on less than 30% of an Elevation, then the Replacement Area is limited to the square footage containing the Qualifying Damage.
Once you have established that you have Qualifying Damage that is not subject to the installation disqualifiers described below, you have three benefit options:
Option No. 1- Replacement and Repair:
- Claimants will receive $1.00 per square foot of Replacement Area for replacement siding and $4.75 per square foot of Replacement Area to contribute to additional repair costs, including installation, labor, paint, home wrap, trim, and other repairs and/or incidental work.
- Claimants will receive an additional $200.00 if the total Replacement area is 20 boards or fewer.
- Claimants will receive an additional paint allowance of $1.00 per square foot for the entire Elevation where the Replacement Area is less than 30% of the Elevation.
Timing of Payment Under Option No. 1. Within 30 days of final approval of the Claim, the Claims Administrator will pay 30% of the total compensation available under this option. The Settlement Class Member must then perform the repairs within nine (9) months of the issuance of the initial payment, including replacement of the Siding, and provide proof of repair to the Claims Administrator. Within 30 days after proof of repair is accepted by the Claims Administrator, the remaining 70% of the total compensation will be paid to the Settlement Class Member. In the event a Settlement Class Member fails to submit proof of repair, the Claimant will waive and forfeit any claim for payment of repairs.
Option No. 2- Quick Cash Option:
This Option provides compensation solely for Siding exhibiting Qualifying Damage, and does not include the 30% or greater Elevation Replacement Area criteria. The Claims Administrator will pay the Settlement Class Member $4.25 per square foot of Qualifying Damage within 30 days of final approval of the Claim.
Option No. 3- Cash Option with Proof of Repair:
This Option allows a Settlement Class Member with Qualifying Damage on less than 30% of an Elevation to be reimbursed upon proof of repair. Specifically, the Claims Administrator will pay $4.25 per square foot of Qualifying Damage within 30 days of final approval of the Claim, and $4.25 per square foot for any remaining portion of any Elevation that the Settlement Class Members repairs within 30 days after proof of repair is accepted.
What is a disqualifying installation error?
No compensation will be paid or awarded for Qualifying Damage predominantly caused by or resulting from installation errors. In evaluating installation, the adjudicator will consider:
- Certain Gapping
- Clearance at base of the house
- Improper fastening
- Failure to attach Siding to structural framing
- Improper or missing roof to wall transition flashing
- Failure to install Siding on a smooth, rigid, and flat surface
- Inadequate thickness of paint
HOW TO GET BENEFITS
How do I make a claim?
The Claims Administrator will send you a Claim Form and accompanying documentation identifying the respective Claim number and containing information and instructions on the submission of the Claim. The materials will require you to provide a Claim Form and supporting documents (collectively, a “Claim Package”), which you may submit by electronic mail, regular mail, or a combination of both.
When you open a Claim, you agree to cooperate to provide such other information as is reasonably needed to evaluate the Claim and efficiently determine whether the Claim qualifies for compensation, and will make your Siding available for inspection, if deemed necessary.
You may and should claim all Qualifying Damage on each Siding board.
More details are available in the Settlement Agreement, which is available on the Important Documents page.
When may I make a claim?
You may open your claim after the Court grants Final Approval of the Settlement and the Effective Date occurs by Clicking Here or calling 1-844-530-0355. The Settlement is contingent upon the Court’s final approval. Benefits will not be distributed to Class Members until after the Court grants final approval to the Settlement and any appeals are resolved. Appeals could take years to conclude. The Final Approval Hearing is scheduled for May 17, 2021.
Claims for Qualifying Damage must be opened within 24 months of the Effective Date. Claims will be paid in order of submission.
What if my claim is denied or I disagree with the amount of my payment?
In the event of a denial, the Claimant may appeal to the Adjudicator from a denial of a claim within 15 days from the Date of Denial or submit further proof to the Claims Administrator from a denial of a claim related to proof of repair within 15 days from the Date of Denial. More details are available in the Settlement Agreement, which is available on the Important Documents page.
REMAIN IN THE SETTLEMENT CLASS
What am I giving up if I stay in the Settlement Class?
Unless you exclude yourself (i.e., opt out of the Settlement), you will give up your right to sue Defendants for the claims in this case as set forth in the Settlement Agreement. You also will be bound by any decisions by the Court relating to the lawsuit and Settlement.
In return for paying the Settlement benefits, Defendants will be released for certain claims relating to the facts underlying this lawsuit. The Settlement Agreement describes the Release, so read it carefully. If you have any questions, you can talk to Class Counsel listed in Question 20 of the Notice for free or you can, of course, talk to your own lawyer if you have questions about what this means. The Settlement Agreement and the Release are available on the Important Documents page.
EXCLUDE YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT CLASS
How do I get out of the Settlement Class?
To exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you must complete an Opt-Out form by first class mail to Class Counsel.
Your Request for Exclusion must be postmarked or personally delivered no later than March 18, 2021, to:
Siding Settlement Exclusions
Daniel K. Bryson / Harper T. Segui
Whitfield Bryson LLP
900 W. Morgan Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue for the same thing later?
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you will remain in the Settlement Class and give up any right to separately sue Defendants for the claims covered by the Settlement.
Please note, the Releasing Parties, including you, specifically reserve any and all other claims and causes of action against any installers of the Siding, but only in their role as installers, not sellers of the Siding.
If I exclude myself, can I still get benefits?
No. Any Settlement Class Member who elects to opt-out of this Agreement is not entitled to a remedy under this Agreement and is not affected by this Agreement. You will, however, be able to make a claim under the Limited Warranty applicable to the Siding.
OBJECT TO OR COMMENT ON THE SETTLEMENT
How do I object to or comment on the Settlement?
If you are a Class Member and have comments about, or disagree with, any aspect of the Settlement which applies to you, you may express your views to the Court by writing to the Court, Class Counsel, and Defendants’ counsel at the addresses below. Your written request must be mailed first class mail.
Your objection must include:
- The consent of all co-owners of the home with the Siding;
- Your name, address, and telephone number;
- Address of the structure(s) that may contain Siding Materials;
- Specify the exact nature of the objection;
- Whether or not you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing; and
- Your signature and, if applicable, the signature of the attorney representing you.
Any comment or objection to the Settlement must be postmarked or personally delivered no later than March 18, 2021 and mailed to these three addresses:
Clerk of the Court
United States District Court
for the District of South Carolina
J. Waties Waring Judicial Center
Meeting Street at Broad Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Daniel K. Bryson
Harper T. Segui
Whitfield Bryson LLP
900 W. Morgan Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
Robert L. Hickok
Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders, LLP
3000 Two Logan Square
Eighteenth & Arch Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2799
What is the difference between excluding myself and objecting?
If you exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you are telling the Court that you don’t want to participate in the Settlement. Therefore, you will not be eligible to receive any benefits from the Settlement and you will not be able to object to the Settlement. Objecting to the Settlement simply means telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. Objecting does not disqualify you from making a claim nor does it make you ineligible to receive a payment.
THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU
Do I have a lawyer representing me?
Yes. The Court has appointed the following law firms as Class Counsel to represent you and all other members of the Settlement Class: Daniel K. Bryson, Scott C. Harris, and Harper T. Segui of Whitfield, Bryson, LLP; Phillip W. Segui of Segui Law Firm, PC, Gregory F. Coleman and Rachel Soffin of Gregory Coleman Law, PC, William F. Cash, III and Matt Schultz of Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor, P.A., Mitchell M. Breit of Simmons Hanly Conroy, LLC, and Michelle J. Looby, Gustafson Gluek, PLLC.
If you have any questions about the Settlement, you can talk to Class Counsel, or you can hire your own lawyer at your own expense.
How will the lawyers be paid?
Lead Class Counsel plans to request attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of costs up to 33% of the value of the Settlement, including the 12,500,000.00 Settlement Fund. These fees, costs, and expenses and service awards will be decided by the Court and will be paid from the Settlement Fund. The Court may award less than this amount.
THE FINAL APPROVAL HEARING
When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 11:00 a.m. on May 17, 2021, at the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, J. Waties Waring Judicial Center, Meeting Street at Broad Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29401. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so check this website for current information. At the Final Approval Hearing the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections or comments, the Court will consider them at that time. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to grant final approval to the Settlement. We do not know how long these decisions will take.
Do I have to come to the hearing?
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. But you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send an objection or comment, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also hire a lawyer to appear on your behalf at your own expense.
May I speak at the hearing?
If you send an objection or comment on the Settlement as described above, you will have the right to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement Class.
GET MORE INFORMATION
Where can I get more information?