Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced that wood products giant Weyerhaeuser Company of Seattle, Washington will contribute more than $130,000 toward a study into the performance of engineered wood siding in the climates of the Pacific Northwest as part of an agreement filed today in Marion County Circuit Court. The Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, which admits no violation of law, ends an investigation into the company's alleged misrepresentations of the performance of its engineered wood siding.
"This isn't our first case concerning the reliability of wood composite siding in the Northwest," Myers said. "Oregonians have been reporting problems with siding products surviving our unique climate for more than a decade. A comprehensive study of engineered wood siding and its performance problems in damp climates is a good, positive approach to the problem." In 1996, Louisiana-Pacific Corporation paid Justice $505,000 in an agreement concerning problems of one of its siding products.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Weyerhaeuser will distribute the results of the two-year study throughout the building and wood products industries. In addition, Weyerhaeuser will pay $55,000 in attorney fees to each of three states involved in the investigation. Oregon is joined by Washington and Wisconsin.
Other participants in the study are the Washington State University Wood Materials and Engineering Lab, the Tacoma-based Engineered Wood Association and the University of Tennessee's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Oregonians began filing complaints about Weyerhaeuser's wood fiber and resin siding in 1997 with concerns about warping, rotting and bulging. The wood products company no longer sells the product and has sold its hardboard production facilities to Collins Products that now markets the siding under its own name.
Two years ago, Weyerhaeuser settled private, class-action lawsuits mostly brought by Western states consumers over the failed siding. The company agreed to address claims on potentially hundreds of thousands of consumers. There is no cap on what Weyerhaeuser will have to pay but the company has set aside $82 million for the claims. The company has nine years in which to pay the claims.
Consumers wanting more information on this settlement and other cases concerning problems with hardboard exterior siding may contact the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us.
Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) firstname.lastname@example.org
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