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Weyerhaeuser: Class Action Notice

Answers to Common Questions

IMPORTANT UPDATE:
On December 22, 2000, the Court approved the Settlement.

However all Claims must have been filed by December 22, 2009.

Below you will find answers to common questions about the Settlement. These answers provide a general reference only. Please refer to the Long Form Notice for more detailed information. If after reading this you still have questions you may click here to send a question to Class Counsel.

What is the litigation and settlement about?

Am I a Class Member?

How do I know if I have Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding?

Is all Weyerhaeuser siding included in the settlement?

How do I file a claim?

When are claim forms due?

How do I get a Claim Form?

What type of siding damage is included under the approved settlement?

What kind of installation or building design errors will the independent inspector look for?

What if I own a condominium, townhouse, row house, duplex or triplex?

Are mobile homes (or manufactured houses) included in the approved settlement?

Am I eligible to make a claim under the settlement?

Has the settlement been approved?

How do I benefit under the approved settlement?

Is there a total settlement fund or phased funding?

I already had my Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding replaced-repaired on my property. Am I still eligible?

Can I fix my siding now and still participate in the settlement?

I filed a warranty claim for damaged siding already, can I still participate in this settlement?

I sold a house with Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding. Can I file a claim?

I am experiencing problems with my Weyerhaeuser siding right now, what can I do?

I believe I am a Class Member, what do I need to do to participate?

If I opt out can I file a claim or get compensation under the settlement?

Who is representing me in this litigation?

Who can explain the settlement to me in more detail or answer my specific questions?

Is everyone who has Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding a Class Member?

How can I get a copy of the approved settlement agreement?

Can I only make one claim under the approved settlement?

What if I don't want to be part of the approved settlement?

What happens if I exclude myself (opt-out)?

How do I object to the approved settlement?

What are the attorneys' fees paid to Class Counsel?



What is the litigation and settlement about?

A: This lawsuit was presented in the Superior Court of California in and for the County of San Francisco, Civil Action No. 995787. In this litigation, plaintiffs alleged that Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding prematurely fails and sought compensation for themselves and other owners of property on which the siding has been installed for alleged damages. Weyerhaeuser denies all such allegations. The parties have entered into a proposed nationwide class action Settlement, notice was disseminated, a hearing was held and the Court approved the Settlement on December 22, 2000. For more information please refer to the Long Form Notice.
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Am I a Class Member?

A: With certain exceptions explained in the Long Form Notice, you are a Class Member if you own or owned structures in the U.S. on which Weyerhaeuser brand exterior hardboard siding has been installed from January 1, 1981 through December 31, 1999. Please review the Long Form Notice or more information about who is a Class Member.
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How do I know if I have Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding?

A: In order to determine whether you have Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding you may:

 
Refer to the product identification information available on this website.
Ask the builder of your property.
Remove a piece of the siding to see whether "AHA 10" or "AHA 20" is stamped on the back.
Take a piece of the siding to a local building supply store such as Home Depot, which may be able to assist you.
Check the inside of an unfinished wall such as in a garage or crawl space where the back of your siding may be visible.
Scott's Painting & Staining Inc. can determine whether or not the manufacturer is Weyerhaeuser.

For siding samples, you do not need to remove an entire piece of siding. The claims process provides that you may submit a siding sample (6"x6" piece or a 2" hole saw cut which is in good condition and includes the lower drip edge for lap siding or for panel siding, the vertical groove) or a check for $150 to the independent claims administrator, who will schedule an independent inspection of your property. If your siding is determined to be Weyerhaeuser brand, the $150 fee will be refunded to you. For more information, please refer to the Long Form Notice.
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Is all Weyerhaeuser siding included in the settlement?

A: All Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding installed on structures from January 1, 1981 through December 31, 1999 is included in the settlement, with a few limited exceptions explained in the Long Form Notice For more information, please refer to the Long Form Notice.
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How do I file a claim?

A: You can register to receive a Claim Form by returning the Claim Form registration card included with mailed Long Form Notice packets OR you may register by phone at 1-800-365-0697.  You do not need to register more than once. The Court granted final approval of the Settlement on December 22, 2000. A Claim Form will be sent to you if you have registered to receive one. In order to submit a claim under the settlement you will need to submit a complete and valid Claim Form to the independent claims administrator, who will schedule an independent inspection of your property. The Long Form Notice explains how long you have to file a Claim Form. The deadlines for filing range from three to nine years depending on when your siding was installed. For more information, please review the Long Form Notice.
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When are claim forms due?

A: The length of time you have to file a claim depends on when your siding was installed.
Owners of structures on which Weyerhaeuser Siding was installed between January 1, 1981 and December 31, 1987 have 3 years from the date of the Final Order to file a claim.
Owners of structures on which Weyerhaeuser Siding was installed between January 1, 1988 and December 31, 1993 have 6 years from the date of the Final Order to file a claim.
Owners of structures on which Weyerhaeuser Siding was installed between January 1, 1994 and December 31, 1999 have 9 years from the date of the Final Order to file a claim.

For more information please refer to the Long Form Notice.
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How do I get a Claim Form?

A: You can register to receive a Claim Form by returning the Claim Form registration card included with mailed Long Form Notice packets OR you may register by phone at 1-800-365-0697.  The Court approved the Settlement at a hearing on December 22, 2000. You do not need to register more than once. A Claim Form will be sent to you if you have registered to receive one.
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What type of siding damage is included under the approved settlement?

A: The type of siding damage for which compensation may be available under the settlement includes a lap board or panel sheet exhibiting one or more of the following:
Thickness swelling
Edge checking
Physical degradation
Buckling
Surface welting
Swelling
Delamination
Sponginess
Wax bleed
Raised or popped fibers

Siding damage determined by the independent inspector to be caused by certain specified building design or installation errors is excluded. Also excluded is: intentional, reckless or negligent physical damage to Siding caused by you or others after installation OR damage resulting from natural disaster including, but not limited to fire, hurricane, flood, hail, tornado, earthquake, earth movement, or other similar force major causes.

For more information about what type of damage is included under the settlement and about the claim process, please review the Long Form Notice top

What kind of installation or building design errors will the independent inspector look for?

A: Damage to a board is excluded if the independent inspector finds it was caused by any of the following installation or building errors, called "Causation Exceptions" briefly summarized as follows:

(1) framing misalignment

(2) studs spaced incorrectly

(3) substantial nailing problems

(4) permanently installed sprinkler systems having directly sprayed the affected area or landscaping or plants that grow onto or into a structure

(5) siding contact with masonry or the ground

(6) excessive run-off from the roof onto the adjacent wall or improper roof/wall flashing

(7) failure of a chimney cricket or roof/chimney flashing to extend to the edge of the chimney or missing flashing

(8) damage occurring within 6 inches from the top, bottom, and sides of a window assembly (including trim)

(9) absence of paint on the drip edge, cut edge or milled grooves of a board

(10) inadequate or improperly installed or missing flashing

(11) damage around the belly band or horizontal trim where there is improper flashing or missing caulk

(12) lack of vapor barriers (except in specific geographic locations), or lack of ground crawlspace vapor barriers or lack of wall sheathing

(13) damage starting within 12 inches of water intrusion or runoff points

The settlement provides that for a Causation Exception to apply, it must be readily apparent to the Independent Inspector, who must determine that condition to be the cause of the Damage. Any doubt by the Independent Inspector as to a Causation Exception will be resolved in the Claimant's favor. There will be no intrusive testing on any single-family detached residence.

For more information on the claims or inspection process, please review the Long Form Notice.
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What if I own a condominium, townhouse, row house, duplex or triplex?

You are a Class Member if you own (or are responsible for) the exterior of the structure. If the exterior of the structure is owned by a homeowner's association, then the homeowner's association is the Class Member. If that is the case, you should notify the homeowner's association of the litigation and approval of the settlement so they can contact the claims administrator at 1-800-365-0697 and receive a mailed Long Form Notice packet.
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Are mobile homes (or manufactured houses) included in the approved settlement?

Yes. Mobile homes or manufactured houses are one of the types of structures included in the settlement, if the Weyerhaeuser brand siding was installed on the structure between January 1, 1981 and December 31, 1999. If you own or owned a mobile home with Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding installed during that time period, you may be eligible for compensation under the approved settlement for damaged siding. For more information, please refer to the Long Form Notice.
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Am I eligible to make a claim under the settlement?

A: You may be entitled to recover monetary damages under the settlement if you either:

  1. currently own property on which Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding has been installed from January 1, 1981 to December 31, 1999; or
  2. purchase such property during the Term of this Agreement; or
  3. are a former owner of such property and have a valid assignment of any claim against Weyerhaeuser; or
  4. own or have formerly owned such property and have personally paid to repair or replace damaged Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding (former owners must have a valid assignment of the claim for reimbursement); or
  5. own or have formerly owned such a property and previously received compensation from Weyerhaeuser without representation by an attorney. Owners of non-single family detached residences or property with greater than five (5) units may not be eligible under this provision.

For more information about the claim process and whether you are an eligible claimant, please review the Long Form Notice.
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Has the settlement been approved?

A: YES. At a hearing on December 22, 2000 the Court determined that the settlement is in good faith, fair, adequate, reasonable and in the best interests of the class, and to consider Class Counsel's request for attorney's fees and costs. The hearing was held before the Honorable Alfred G. Chiantelli, Presiding Judge for the Superior Court of California in and for the County of San Francisco at the San Francisco County Superior Courthouse, 400 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.
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How do I benefit under the approved settlement?

A: As part of the approval of the Settlement, Weyerhaeuser will pay all qualified claims based upon an independent inspection. Such payments will be calculated based on the cost of replacing or refinishing the damaged exterior Weyerhaeuser siding including labor, installation, painting and trim, if necessary. The amount of any payment will also be affected by other factors such as whether the independent inspector determines the damage was caused by improper installation or building design, and deductions for use depending on the number of years the siding has been installed. For a more detailed description of the claims process, please review the Long Form Notice.
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Is there a total settlement fund or phased funding?

A: No. The settlement is structured as a "claims-made" settlement, which simply means that there is no specified amount to be paid by Weyerhaeuser to Class members in the settlement of claims. Instead, under the settlement, Weyerhaeuser will pay all timely claims for damaged siding that qualify for compensation under the settlement.
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I recently paid to have the Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding replaced/repaired on my property. Am I still eligible?

A: Possibly. You may be eligible to make a claim for Unreimbursed Repairs if:
the damaged siding repaired/replaced was Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding,
you personally own or owned the property on which the siding was installed, and
the siding was not damaged by one of the excluded causes.

Additionally, you must have made the repairs or replacement without knowledge of the settlement.

You are required to complete and submit a Claim for Unreimbursed Repair within 3 years of the date of final approval of the settlement, December 22, 2000. If you are deemed eligible, you will be entitled to the amount of the Unreimbursed Repairs OR the amount to which you would have been entitled under the applicable Compensation Formula for current siding damage, whichever is less. For a more detailed description of this process, please review the Long Form Notice.

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Can I fix my siding now and still participate in the settlement?

A: No. Class members who are aware of the settlement and who repair or replace their siding independent of the claims process in the settlement are not eligible to file a claim under the settlement, so please read the Long Form Notice carefully before you do anything to your siding that jeopardizes your rights under the settlement. Class Counsel strongly urges you not to make any repairs or replacements to your siding at this time. You may, however, perform routine maintenance such as painting or caulking. If you are having an urgent problem, please contact Class Counsel.

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I filed a warranty claim for damaged siding already, can I still participate in this settlement?

A: Possibly. Generally speaking, Class Members who own single-family homes and who have filed and resolved a claim through the warranty process may submit a claim as described in the Notice. Any amount for which you may be eligible under the settlement will be reduced by the amount of the warranty payment previously received. However, if you were represented by a lawyer and resolved a warranty claim with a full release, you are not a class member. Owners of multi-unit structures with 5 or more units that filed warranty claims and resolved their claim with a full release are not eligible to file claims under the settlement. For more information about how prior warranty claims would be handled under the approved settlement, please review the Long Form Notice.
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I sold a house with Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding. Can I file a claim?

A: Unless you are filing a claim for unreimbursed expenses, or unless the current homeowner has assigned the claim to you, you are not eligible to file a claim.
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I am experiencing problems with my Weyerhaeuser siding right now, what can I do?

A: The Court approved the settlement on December 22, 2000 and you are now able to submit a claim for recovery. However, if you are experiencing water intrusion to your home and have already contracted for repair OR if you have a sale pending for your home, you may be eligible to participate in an expedited claims process. If you believe you are eligible for the expedited process, you may contact Class Counsel.
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I believe I am a Class Member, what do I need to do to participate?

A: If you are a Class Member and wish to participate in the settlement, please review the Long Form Notice. In order to obtain any recovery, you will be required to submit a Claim Form. The Court granted approval of the Settlement on December 22, 2000 and Claim Forms are now available.
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If I opt out can I file a claim or get compensation under the settlement?

A: No, if you opt out you will not be eligible to receive any compensation under the settlement. For more information please refer to the Long Form Notice.
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Who is representing me in this litigation?

A. The Court has appointed as Class Counsel 12 law firms. For a full list, please review the Long Form Notice.
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I have reviewed the Long Form Notice and called the Independent Claims Administrator at the toll free number (1-800-365-0697), and reviewed other information available at this website, but I have additional questions unique to my situation or don't understand the process. Who can explain the settlement to me in more detail or answer my specific questions?

A: You may call the Class Counsel at the phone number listed at the bottom of this page.
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Is everyone who has Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding a Class Member?

A: The settlement is very broad and includes most persons who have structures with Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding. Excluded from the Class are: (1) anyone who owns or owned any structure that was the subject of a lawsuit in which Weyerhaeuser was a party and where the lawsuit was resolved by payment, release or adjudication; (2) anyone who while represented by a lawyer resolved a claim relating to Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding with a full release; (3) anyone who in accordance with the terms of the settlement properly executes and files a timely request for exclusion from the Class; and (4) anyone other than the named plaintiffs in this lawsuit who otherwise falls within the Class definition but who had pending litigation where a claim has been made against Weyerhaeuser relating to hardboard siding as of February 4, 1999 and in which no class had been certified.

Claims for personal injury are also excluded from the class. For more information please refer to the Long Form Notice.
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How can I get a copy of the approved settlement agreement?

  1. You may review the settlement agreement and other papers filed in this lawsuit at the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court of San Francisco County, 400 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 94102. If you have further questions about obtaining a copy of the settlement agreement you may contact Class Counsel

Please do not call or write to the Court or the Clerk of the Court as neither can answer any questions or provide legal advice regarding the settlement or your rights thereunder.
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Can I only make one claim under the approved settlement?

A: No, under the terms of the approved settlement, Class Members may make a claim once every two years for damage to Weyerhaeuser brand hardboard siding not previously compensated. A Class Member who submits more than three claims must pay a $150 inspection fee in advance for any additional claims unless the Class Member's most recent inspection resulted in a claims payment. In the event any additional claim for which an inspection fee has been paid results in a claims payment, the Class Member will be reimbursed for the inspection fee. For more information please refer to the Long Form Notice.
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What if I don't want to be part of the approved settlement?

A: If you simply do not want to make a claim, you do not need to do anything. However, you may no longer exclude yourself from this settlement if you did not do so by November 13, 2000. If you did not exclude yourself you are bound by the terms of the Settlement and the Courts orders.
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What happens if I excluded myself (opt-out)?

A: If you validly requested exclusion from the Class: (a) you are excluded from the Class; (b) you are not able to receive any compensation under the settlement; (c) you are not bound by any judgment entered in the litigation; and (d) you are not prevented, by reason of your decision to request exclusion, from otherwise prosecuting an individual claim, if timely, against Weyerhaeuser based on the matter complained of in the litigation.
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How do I object to the approved settlement?

A: The deadline for making objections has passed.
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What are the attorneys' fees paid to Class Counsel?

A: Class Counsel will apply for an award of attorneys' fees, plus reimbursement of expenses that were advanced in connection with the litigation and for future costs to administer the settlement. The attorneys' fees and cost award has been agreed to by the parties, and, if approved by the Court, will be paid to Class Counsel separately by Weyerhaeuser and will not reduce, in any manner, Class Members' recovery under the settlement. Weyerhaeuser has agreed to pay Class Counsel a non-refundable initial payment of attorneys' fees of $18 million plus 12% of the dollar value of any claims paid between $120,000,000 and $190,000,000. Class Counsel project the initial attorneys' fees payment to be equivalent to 15% of the first $120,000,000 in claims paid. Class Counsel have agreed to limit their total fees to no more than $26.4 million. In addition, Weyerhaeuser has agreed to reimburse Class Counsel for costs incurred during the course of litigation and for future costs associated with administration of the settlement. Class Members are not personally liable for any fees and costs. To date, Class Counsel have not received any payment for their services in conducting this litigation on behalf of the Class Representatives and the Class Members, nor have Class Counsel been reimbursed for their out-of-pocket expenses. The fee requested by Class Counsel would compensate them for their efforts in achieving monetary damages for the benefit of the Class, for their risk in undertaking this representation on a contingency basis, and for continued work on behalf of the Class during the nine (9) year life of the settlement.

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How to Identify Weyerhaeuser Hardboard Siding

If you have additional questions, you may call 1-800-365-0697, or write to Weyerhaeuser Hardboard Siding Class Action Settlement, Independent Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 9443, Garden City, NY 11530-9443.