Law firm, Parker & Associates, added a second group of leaky property owners to the Cladding Action against James Hardie in late December with a group of 22 commercial units alleging negligence and breach of the Fair Trading Act in relation to Titanboard.
Titanboard is another James Hardie cladding product often used in commercial buildings from the mid-1990s. The Titanboard claim is also being brought as a class action on behalf of other similarly affected property owners that may consent to join.
Eighty owners of Harditex or Titanboard properties have now joined the Cladding Action with another 80 to 100 expected to join shortly. Most of these claimants filed separate statements of claim to protect against a potential limitation deadline on 31 December, after which there is now a bar on claims based on acts or omissions that occurred more than 15 years ago. Many of the alleged negligent acts in question and affected properties date back to the 1990s.
In August, Parker & Associates filed the first claim against James Hardie in the Cladding Action, alleging negligence and breach of the Fair Trading Act in relation to the Harditex cladding product. Since then, the firm has registered interest from over 550 property owners and fresh enquiries are being received each day.
“The Cladding Action is self-funded giving claimants the full upside of a successful outcome,” said Parker. “We are pleased with the number of claimants confirmed already and expect more will be joining.
“We have applied to the court to proceed as a class action and for the final date on which other potential class members can opt in to join the Cladding Action. That application will be heard next year.
“Separate claims have been filed for most plaintiffs as a precaution to avoid risk with a 31 December 2015 potential limitation deadline,” said Parker.
“Anyone whose property was built after 1987 using Harditex or Titanboard cladding and who may have suffered damage as a result of the alleged system defects should contact us urgently to explore eligibility and to arrange testing”.
James Hardie has denied any fault or failings with their product and will defend the case.
Parker & Associates has achieved recoveries for hundreds of owners of residential houses, apartments and commercial buildings, including claims against James Hardie, since 2001.