| SAN FRANCISCO -- (BUSINESS WIRE) A California court has granted final approval of a settlement of a nationwide
class-action lawsuit between Weyerhaeuser Company, the Washington State wood and paper giant, and homeowners who had
Weyerhaeuser hardboard siding installed on their structures from Jan. 1, 1981 to Dec. 13, 1999.
Judge Alfred G. Chiantelli of San Francisco Superior Court's final approval order authorizes the establishment of an inspection and claims
program that will provide compensation for hundreds of thousands of property owners nationwide who have failing Weyerhaeuser
Company brand exterior hardboard siding that has swollen, warped, buckled, or otherwise prematurely deteriorated.
Under the claims made settlement, Weyerhaeuser will pay all valid and timely claims filed by property owners who own or owned a
structure on which Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding has been installed. Unlike other similar settlements involving failing siding, this
settlement is open-ended, with no cap on the total amount that Weyerhaeuser could pay in damages.
“The settlement agreement mandates that every timely and valid claim be paid by Weyerhaeuser, not just those who register a claim first,''
said Christopher I. Brain, a partner at co-lead counsel Tousley Brain Stephens PLLC. “In addition, we also negotiated to have
Weyerhaeuser pay for all claims, administration costs and attorney fees at no expense to the claimants, so every penny of the settlement
goes to the claimants.''
The settlement provides a compensation formula based on the cost of replacing the siding in the claimant's geographic area. Once a claim
is filed, an independent inspector will inspect the siding to determine whether it is damaged. Claimants who have previously paid to repair
their siding are also eligible to make a claim.
“This settlement is a tremendous victory for homeowners. It provides real and immediate relief to homeowners with failing siding in a fair
and efficient manner. We are very proud of this settlement,'' said co-lead counsel Jonathan D. Selbin of Lieff Cabraser Heimann &
Class members may call the Independent Claims Administrator toll free at 800/365-0697 or visit the website at http://www.weyerclaims.com to
request a claim form or receive additional settlement information.
“Although it's taken more than two years of hard fought litigation and negotiation to attain this result, we couldn't be more pleased with the
settlement,'' noted co-lead counsel William M. Audet of Alexander Hawes & Audet. ``Now homeowners can rest assured knowing they will
finally be fairly compensated for their damaged siding.''
The settlement does not provide compensation for damages caused by improper installation, recklessness or negligent conduct after
installation, or damages resulting from natural disasters.
This eUpdate posting by: Steve Joyce