A federal judge in Philadelphia has granted preliminary approval of a class-action settlement possibly worth as much as $600 million to resolve up to tens of thousands of claims over allegedly faulty organic roofing shingles manufactured by Valley Forge-based CertainTeed Corp. The final amount of the settlement will depend on the number of claims for damages actually filed. CertainTeed sold the organic shingles under a dozen brand names, including Hallmark Shangle, Independence Shangle, Horizon Shangle, and Hearthstead, all of which were discontinued “several years ago,” according to the company. With more than 65 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada, CertainTeed had more than $3 billion in sales in 2008.
The settlement is being hailed as a victory for wronged consumers. Persons who own or have owned buildings affected by the allegedly defective shingles – installed since July 1987 – will receive between $34 and $74 per square. In roofing terms, a square is 100 square feet. The shingles were composed of organic felt, which was made from recycled paper, cardboard, and wood.
It was reported that CertainTeed shingles, subject to the settlement, would develop cracks three or four years after installation, which could allow water ultimately to penetrate the roof and cause damage to walls and ceilings. Most of the roofing world has since transitioned to fiberglass shingles, which CertainTeed also makes. U.S. District Judge Louis H. Pollak has scheduled a final hearing on the matter for June 8th. It would settle litigation that started in 2007 and involves Plaintiffs in 18 states. Halunen & Associates, a Minneapolis law firm, represents Plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit.