Defective Products

Masonite Hardboard Siding

Result: Over $1 billion settlement
Year: 1998

Lieff Cabraser served as Co-Lead Class Counsel on behalf of a nationwide Class of an estimated 4 million homeowners with allegedly defective hardboard siding manufactured and sold by Masonite Corporation, a subsidiary of International Paper, installed on their homes.

The Court certified the class in November 1995, and the Alabama Supreme Court twice denied extraordinary writs seeking to decertify the Class, including in Ex Parte Masonite, 681 So. 2d 1068 (Ala. 1996). A month-long jury trial in 1996 established the factual predicate that Masonite hardboard siding was defective under the laws of most states.

The case settled on the eve of a second class-wide trial, and in 1998, the Court approved a settlement. Under a claims program established by the settlement that ran through 2008, class members with failing Masonite hardboard siding installed and incorporated in their property between January 1, 1980, and January 15, 1998, were entitled to make claims, have their homes evaluated by independent inspectors, and receive cash payments for damaged siding.

Combined with settlements involving other alleged defective home building products sold by Masonite, the total cash paid to homeowners exceeded $1 billion.