Viking Windows 3000 Series - A Class action lawsuit review
In 2007, a California state court certified proceedings regarding a class in a suit involving alleged leaking windows manufactured by a subsidiary of the popular manufacturer Pella Windows; Viking Windows 3000 Series. The plaintiffs’ counsel believed the Viking window defects affected around 100,000 homeowners in homes where the product was installed.
The suit claims that Viking Series 3000 windows, leaked out of the bottom corners, substantially shortening their lifespan. The suit involved several types of windows, including horizontal sliding, vertical sliding (or “hung”), and fixed windows. It also included the Viking Series 3000 sliding glass door.
In addition to the alleged defects, the suit also alleges that they has refused to replace the windows or otherwise remedy the problem, despite a conspicuous “lifetime warranty” label affixed to every window. On April 3, 2007, lead plaintiffs’ wrote Pella to demand that they replace the defective windows. However, the never received an answer.
An expert for the plaintiffs tested the windows and found that 61 percent leaked out of the bottom corners. The expert further found a “reasonable engineering certainty” that the other 39 percent would eventually leak during their expected useful life. This may not be surprising; judges and legal experts often dismiss expert witnesses as “worthless” since they are working for an interested party. Shockingly, however, Pella’s own expert witness admitted in sworn testimony that 43 percent of the 1.2 million windows sold have leaked — an astonishing figure in its own right.
Even under Pella’s relatively conservative estimation, then, between 336,000 and 696,000 of the subject windows leak. Pella’s refusal to provide assistance to affected consumers has led some to throw up their hands and replace the windows out of their own pockets.
The suit is brought on behalf of California homeowners who bought the windows through a retailer or as part of a new home. While the suit likely involves about 100,000 homeowners, plaintiffs’ counsel currently only know the identities of several hundred.
Viking 3000 windows were manufactured between 1989 and 1999. Pella bought Viking in 1998 and subsequently renamed the subsidiary Thermastar. The relative age of the windows is more than offset by the purported “lifetime” warranty.
The windows were sold at major home improvement retailers, including Home Depot, Home Base, Lowes and Yardbirds. Home Depot, which sold about 500,000 units, was named as a codefendant in the suit.
Viking Windows 3000 Series - Results of the class action lawsuit
The class action lawsuit alleged that over one million Viking Series 3000 windows that were produced and distributed between 1989 and 1999 were defective.
The plaintiffs charged that the windows were not watertight and allowed for water to penetrate the surrounding sheetrock, drywall, paint or wallpaper. Under the terms of a settlement approved by the Court in August 2010, all class members who submitted valid claims were entitled to receive as much as $500 per affected property.
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Sources : https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/05/pella.html