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Atlas Chalet Shingle Class Action Moves Forward

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A Georgia federal judge ruled Monday that a South Carolina couple who brought a class action against Atlas Roofing Corp. failed to adequately assert an economic loss from their purchase of Atlas Chalet shingles, as required under South Carolina law in order to prove strict liability or negligence for a product liability tort.

David and Patricia Dickson alleged in their complaint that the manufacturing process allowed moisture to enter the shingles, creating gas bubbles that expanded in the sun, blistering and cracking them, according to Law360.com.

“The plaintiffs only adequately allege damage to the shingles themselves,” the judge said. “Although they generally allege damage to ‘other property,’ this is too ambiguous.”

Atlas Chalet shingles were sold with a 30-year limited warranty. The company’s marketing materials for the shingles portray the product as durable and defective-free and compliant with ASTM (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) standards.

Atlas Corporation told customers the Chalet shingles would be resistant to algae and winds up to 80 miles per hour. The firm offered a 30-year limited warranty on the product, which consumers believed to be a guarantee of the shingles’ quality.

According to many, the shingles began to blister and crack soon after they were installed, and chunks of material began coming off the shingles (granule loss), as well. Some customers noticed the shingles breaking down less than a year after installation. Increased moisture is also a problem, according to the complaint.

The customers involved in the lawsuit allege that Atlas has not abided by its warranty and refuses to repair or make reparations for its failed product. Furthermore, Atlas Chalet shingles have been discontinued.

Atlas has said blistering is not a construction defect, but that it is merely aesthetic. Those who purchased the shingles say it is obvious just by looking at the roof that the shingles are defective.

U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. preserved the Dicksons’ claim that Atlas violated an express warranty for the shingles, ruling the corporation’s marketing materials and packaging that claimed the shingles meet building codes and industry standards created a warranty with the purchaser. Thrash also ruled that the Dicksons properly alleged that they relied on the warranty. The couple has said they would have purchased shingles from another roofing company if Atlas had not offered them a warranty, Law360.com reported.

The judge dismissed a claim for unjust enrichment against Atlas because he said the existence of an express warranty doesn’t permit such a claim. He also tossed the request that Atlas pay to inspect all class members’ shingles to determine if they need replacement, according to Law360.com.

Thrash kept the majority of the suit’s declaratory judgment claims that parts of Atlas’ warranty are void as unconscionable, that Atlas must inform customers of the alleged defect in its process, and that the company will reevaluate all previous warranty claims and fully pay for repairs and damages, Law360.com reported.

 

 

breakinglawsuitnews.com disclaimer: This article: Atlas Chalet Shingle Class Action Moves Forward was posted on Friday, May 23rd, 2014 at 6:10 pm at breakinglawsuitnews.com and is filed under Construction Defect Lawsuits, Misleading Information Lawsuits, Product Liability Lawsuits.

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