James Hardie Settle Waterproof Case
James Hardie Industries plc, the world’s leading producer and distributor of high performance fiber cement and gypsum fiber construction solutions, is pleased to announce that the weatherproofing class action lawsuit brought against James Hardie in the Auckland High Court has been settled (Case No. CIV-2015-404-2981, previously described by James Hardie as the “white litigation”). As part of the settlement, James Hardie will receive a payment of NZ $ 1.25 million.
John Arneil, Country Manager ANZ, said: “While we are pleased with this result and believe the regulation supports our continued belief that the claims were unsubstantiated and that we have behaved as a responsible manufacturer, we remain very sympathetic. to homeowners affected by weatherproofing problems. . ”
The terms of the settlement are not confidential. The main terms of payment include:
- Harbor Litigation Funding will pay James Hardie NZ $ 1.25 million.
- There is no admission of liability by any of the parties.
- There is a full and final settlement of all claims arising directly or indirectly from the White litigation in connection with the Harditex ™ coating product. The case will be closed in its entirety.
White’s trial began on May 17, 2021 and was settled midway through a 17-week trial in the Auckland High Court. At the time of settlement, the plaintiffs’ evidence was largely complete and James Hardie had not yet completed making his opening remarks or calling witnesses. The claim, filed in late 2015, was handled by Adina Thorn Lawyers and fully funded by Harbor Litigation Funding, one of the world’s largest funders.
As described in our March 31, 2021 Annual Report on Form 20-F, the White litigation was one of three weatherproofing cases in New Zealand prior to this settlement. After the White litigation is settled, the Company has two outstanding weatherproof claims in New Zealand: the “Cridge Litigation” and the “Waitakere Litigation”. Additional information on these claims is available in our annual report of March 31, 2021 on form 20-F. Regarding the Cridge litigation, the Company is awaiting a decision from the Wellington High Court in August 2021. The Waitakere litigation is expected to begin in May 2023 in the Auckland High Court. The Company believes that it has substantial factual and legal defenses against these claims and vigorously defends them.
This press release contains forward-looking statements and information which are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. There are many factors that could cause James Hardie’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied in this press release, including, among others, the risks and uncertainties set forth in section 3 ” Risk Factors ”from James Hardie’s Annual Report. on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021; changes in general economic, political, governmental and business conditions around the world and in the countries in which James Hardie does business; changes in interest rates; changes in inflation rates; changes in exchange rates; the level of construction in general; changes in demand and prices for cement; changes in the prices of raw materials and energy; changes in business strategy and various other factors. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if the underlying assumptions turn out to be incorrect, actual results may differ materially from those described in this document. James Hardie assumes no obligation to update or correct any information in this press release, except as required by law.
This press release has been authorized by Mr. Jason Miele, Chief Financial Officer.