Joists are a system of supports, generally made from timber or steel, which are used to share the load of a floor or roof. TJI Floor Joists with Flak Jacket Protection are a brand of joists manufactured by Weyerhaeuser Company that have a formaldehyde fire-retardant coating. This Flak Jacket coating was a cheap way to help Weyerhaeuser’s joists meet updated fire protection codes.
On July 18, 2017, Weyerhaeuser announced that the Flak Jacket coating applied to “Generation 4” joists is defective and emits dangerous levels of formaldehyde gas. Formaldehyde is a toxic chemical that may be extremely dangerous to you and your loved ones. Exposure to formaldehyde can cause a sore throat, cough, respiratory issues, nosebleeds, and/or itchy eyes, and is believed to cause cancer. Children, the elderly and individuals with respiratory issues are at a greater risk because they are more susceptible to the effects of formaldehyde.
For over 30 years, FDAzar has been protecting the rights of individuals impacted by dangerous or defective products. FDAzar is currently litigating claims against Weyerhaeuser for manufacturing and selling these defective joists. If your home was built with these defective joists, contact the class action/product liability experts at FDAzar.
Nature of the Claims Against Weyerhaeuser
According to Weyerhaeuser, a new formula was applied to TJI Floor Joists with Flak Jacket Protection manufactured on or after December 1, 2016. Affected TJI joists have a greenish tint, are stamped with “TJI Floor Joist with Flak Jacket Protection,” and include a visible manufacturing date of December 1, 2016 or later. Due to a design and/or manufacturing defect, these joists emit dangerous levels of formaldehyde gas. Weyerhaeuser disclosed that TJI joists with Flak Jackets have been used in at least 2,000 homes and identified the home building companies that have used these joists, including Richmond American Homes, Toll Brothers, CalAtlantic Homes, Shea Homes, and K. Hovnanian Homes.
Homes built with these defective joists have caused their owners numerous problems. The potential health problems have caused homeowners to suffer the expense and disruption of leaving their homes for extended periods of time while the problem is remediated. Buyers have been delayed in occupying their new home or forced to purchase a different home built without the defective joists. Homeowners and buyers have suffered significant economic damages related to these displacements, disruptions and delays. Finally, there is the emotional toll on homeowners dealing with such issues.
Weyerhaeuser is in the process of remediating homes built with the defective joists. However, even after remediation, homeowners and potential homebuyers face uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of the remediation and the effect on the value of their homes. Here are Weyerhaeuser’s proposed remediation methods:
Replacement –Weyerhaeuser replaces the defective joists with unaffected joists “when feasible.” This involves the complete removal and replacement of the joists. While this process is believed to be effective at reducing the levels of formaldehyde because the defective joist is removed from the home, it is unclear whether the removal and replacement of such a key structural element in a home will have any lasting effects on the overall structural integrity of the home.
Top Coating Solution – Weyerhaeuser created a paint solution that it claims reduces the amount of formaldehyde being emitted to safe levels. This top coat solution is generally used in conjunction with a mechanical coating removal. However, some homes only had this top coat solution painted over the Flak Jacket Protection. We have been unable to independently verify the long-term efficacy of this top coat solution.
Mechanical Coating Removal and Top Coat Solution – Weyerhaeuser prefers a method involving cryo-blasting and scraping to remove the coating from the joists. Cryo-blasting works much like a high-pressure car wash, except instead of water, pellets of liquid nitrogen are used. Mechanical scraping with a tool is then used to help remove most of the Flak Jacket Protection from the joists. Generally, after this two-part process, the top coat solution will be applied. Again, we have been unable to independently verify the long-term success of this method.
Most affected homeowners have been notified by Weyerhaeuser that defective joists were used to build their homes. However, buyers of new homes where Weyerhaeuser has already remediated the joists may not be notified that these joists were or still are in their home or how the joists were remediated.
If you own or contracted to purchase a home with the defective Weyerhaeuser joists and have been forced to move from your home or have been delayed in moving into your new home, contact FDAzar. We will fight to get you the recovery you deserve.
Current Case Status
Working in concert with other class action law firms, FDAzar has filed a class action lawsuit against Weyerhaeuser in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado and several other states. Trial in the Colorado case has been set for May 13, 2019. FDAzar is currently conducting discovery against Weyerhaeuser.