Pella, Saltzman Propose Settlement Agreement in Class-Action Suit Over ProLine Products

June 25th, 2012 | Category: Industry News

In Saltzman vs. Pella, a class-action lawsuit involving Pella’s ProLine casement, awning and transom windows made in 2006 and earlier, Pella and the plaintiff’s law firm filed a proposed settlement agreement last week in the federal district court in Chicago. According to court documents, “the case has been pending for six years, and the parties have fought vigorously to defend each of their respective positions.” Pending court approval, the proposed agreement will extend customer service support with a claims process for early products with service needs. The lawsuit does not involve any products currently sold by Pella.

According to the court documents, “in this settlement a mechanism for resolution of causation and damages is established for class members who expended funds to repair and replace … their windows in the past; class members whose windows are in current need of repair and replacement; and class members whose windows may in the future manifest the alleged defect and will need to repair and or replace those windows in the future. Given the nature of the court’s certification order, if the case does not settle and continues to move forward, and if the plaintiffs were to be successful at a liability trial, there would still be individual proceedings for the determination of causation and damages in later phases of the litigation for each class member. This two-phase trial structure would likely take several years for anyone to receive a benefit even if the plaintiffs were to be successful each step of the way.”

Likewise, the motion goes on to state that the settlement provides immediate benefits for class members, including both current owners and former owners who have paid out of pocket to repair damage to Pella ProLine casement windows, as well as those who experience damage in the future. “The court’s class certification severs causation and damage determinations, however the settlement provides a direct means by which settlement class members may be eligible to claim up to $750 per structure under the claims process, or up to $6,000 per structure under an expedited arbitration process,” reads the documents. “The settlement provides enhanced benefits beyond the warranty, free and expedited resolution of eligibility, causation and damage determinations, and provides significant benefits to the class beyond previous window defect class action settlements, and it compares favorably to other home products settlements for products such as shingles and heating hoses,” the documents state.

“We are pleased to have created a settlement framework that extends our existing customer support program with a claims process for older ProLine casement, awning and transom windows,” says Pat Meyer, president and CEO of Pella Corp. “In the overwhelming majority of cases, our Pella windows performed extremely well and as designed. We know that each home or building is unique and the settlement is designed to address the relatively small number that may have experienced a problem.”

Pending review by the court, customer notifications could begin as early as this fall, according to Pella.

According to court documents, Dr. Leonard Saltzman filed a lawsuit in 2006, alleging that the Pella ProLine windows he had purchased for his home in Lake Forest, Ill., had a design defect that allowed water to seep behind the aluminum cladding and cause wood rot. The documents allege that Saltzman contacted Pella and requested repair or replacement at Pella’s expense, but the company refused on the grounds that the windows were no longer under warranty.

U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel certified the suit as a class action, and a federal appellate court upheld the decision.

In 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court decided against  hearing the company’s petition for review in this case.

 

Tags:


8 comments
Leave a comment »

  1. If this is correct, Pella wins. I only replaced the windows showing complete rotting. the bill was $22,000. How can they settle for a low percentage of many of us are spending to correct this incedible problem!

  2. This showed up in our newspaper last week. I thought it was strange for the entire window rott away but Pella had me believe it was ‘lazy’ homeownership.

    Our room was destroyed to the tune of $5,000 and my husband has been extremely irritated with acute asthma due to the mold. I paid to have the mold removed and the room stripped to the concrete but the room is still in ruins.

    Hopefully they will not leave us all hanging with this because I need to get this repaired (and due to job loss/underemployment) do not have the cash funds to do so.

  3. We have also experienced interior wood rot with our Pella Proline windows. Windows were purchased in 1994, we moved into our new house in 1995. Ten years later, we experienced wood rot in our kitchen awning and had to replace it at our cost. Three years later, had to replace the other side of the kitchen awning, plus our huge picture window in our master bedroom for the same reason. Now it is 2012 and we are having to replace our kitchen window again due to wood rot and heavy rain leakage. This time, we are not choosing Pella anymore. They have received two letters from us in 2008 and 2009 requesting compensation, which we were denied. We will be replacing other windows throughout the house due to the same rotting and rain damage. Pella owes customers who purchased windows in that time period some compensation.
    Pat Meyer, if you are still the President and CEO of Pella Corporation, please respond back to us. You have our address with records.

  4. This settlement is a joke! $750 max per structure. $6000 max if successful in arbitration. $750 will not buy one unit. The only people who benefit from this settlement are the lawyers and Saltzman who received $10,000.

  5. I had purchased & installed 4 Pella Proline windows with aluminum cladding for my garage & house. The three in the garage are about 15 years old & appear to be okay, but the one in my house that is several years newer & may still be within the warranty period is rotted under the aluminum. (Need to find the receipt) These are the same windows that were constructed within the time frame of 1991 through 2006 involving the class action suit against Pella for rotting wood under the aluminum. I have the same rot issues in this window that Pella refuses to resolve stating that the window is out of the warranty period.

    I will need to dig through receipts to verify the age of the window, but since I read that the class action suit was settled on windows built in the same period that I bought mine, do I have any recourse on getting a replacement sash?

    I’m not looking for an entire window replacement, just the upper sash that failed.

  6. Today I was told by Pella windows that I could not order and replacement for my proline window unless I filed/joined the class action lawsuit. When I said I had done that already i was told I still could not order a window because I had files/joined the lawsuit. Either way I can’t buy window until the lawsuit is settled. When I said that I would like to buy a window for another area of the house (not the rotted window) I was told I could do that like if the glass was broken. I said OK I broke the glass in another window. Please sell me a replacement and the woman said OK.
    WTH! Really.

  7. Thanks for the blog packed with such a large amount of information. Visiting your site solved the problem to urge things i used to be longing for.

  8. After going through the rigorous work of providing documentation to support my case for having to replace various Pella Proline windows over the last ten years, I was told I was not entitled to a cash reimbursement for expenses already incurred. Instead, I was told a Pella representative could be scheduled to come to my home to do an inspection of my windows. There would be no discount for future replacements due to the age of my windows. What a waste of my time. At least the lawyers received their fees on this deal.

Leave Comment