Pella sued over Architect and Designer Series

ode4minervaJune 4, 2014

A court in NY held that several lawsuits involving the Pella Architect and Designer series could be consolidated in one proceeding in South Carolina. This decision was filed 2/14/2014.

Homeowners filed suit against Pella in NY, PA, LA, NV, IL and OR over the aluminum clad Designer and Architect window series. They all have essentially alleged that the Designer/Architect series had design defects that caused them to leak.

Pella objected to the consolidation saying the windows from these lines did not involve similar facts to warrant consolidation of the cases. Here are some of the reasons Pella cited as to why consolidation should not be allowed to occur:
(a) different windows were involved in the different lawsuits;
(b) the windows involved different designs and compositions;
(c) the windows were manufactured in different plants;
(d) the windows have a history of low failure rates;
(e) damage caused by the alleged leaky windows were unique to the different homeowners.

The judge was not persuaded by Pella's arguments. The plan is to now have the lawsuits proceed in South Carolina.

The judge ruling is a procedural issue and is not a ruling that Pella did anything wrong. At this juncture, the plaintiffs will still need to prove the case that the aluminum clad Architect and Designer series windows had a design defect that caused them to leak.

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Do you know if Pella has re-designed their windows and fixed the problems? My contractor wants us to go with Pella. I'm sure because he gets them for a good price but definitely concerned about the history of leaks and shoddy manufacturing.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 8:16AM
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Nadia,I do not know the answer to that question. Further, it assumes the allegations against Pella are true. I pointed out earlier that at this stage in the litigation these are just allegations. It is up to you to find out for yourself whether there is any truth to the allegations.

If I were buying windows from a manufacturer, I might find it relevant to my decision that there are pending lawsuits against that company. In this instance, the court said Pella had suits pending in NY, PA, LA, NV, IL, OR and another "four related" lawsuits in AL, MN, MS, and WA.

This forum helped a lot in opening my eyes to information when I was doing my inquiries into buying windows. I hope I am doing the same by passing on this information.

You ultimately must decide how to use the information or whether you chose to use it all.

If you are interested, the case citation is 2014 WL 576099 (WL is short for Westlaw, a paid legal subscription site). The case is titled: IN RE: PELLA CORPORATION ARCHITECT AND DESIGNER SERIES WINDOWS MARKETING, SALES PRACTICES AND PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION. I've also attached the link to the opinion, which is on the non-paid US Court website.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pella Court Decision

This post was edited by ode4minerva on Thu, Jun 5, 14 at 21:10

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 2:51PM
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Thanks Ode!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 5:50AM
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All I know is that I live in a home with Pella Prolines from the 90's and they behave exactly as all the lawsuits have alleged. Rotting and leaking, failures. On some of the windows, the rot is so bad you can literally put your finger through the mushy frame. I was told that if I participated in the class action suit, all I would get--besides a burden of paperwork--was a discount on more Pellas. The last thing I want in my house is more Pella windows.

I have been slowly replacing the Pellas as I can afford it. I started with the Pella sliding glass door (the worst offender in the house! what idiot at Pella designed that thing?) which cost several thousand to replace with a Marvin Ultimate sliding glass door (my HOA requires wood-clad, and I decided to get the best). Then I replaced 5 bedroom casement windows last fall with Marvin Ultimates - just in time thank goodness for this past extreme winter. The bedroom comfort was like night and day to what it was before, even with record-breaking polar-vortex minus-20 degree temps. And next week I replace my kitchen's Pellas! Yay! The ice dams on the inside of the Pella kitchen windows this past winter had to be seen to be believed. I wish I could afford to do the whole house, but I have to do it room by room. I just keep saving every 6 months or so until I can afford to do another room and get rid of those horrendous Pellas. My windows contractor is very patient and understanding,

This post was edited by Mrs_Nyefnyef on Fri, Jun 6, 14 at 20:55

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 8:46PM
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10-15 yrs ago, I had Pella aluminum clad Architect series installed throughout my house- casement style and I have not had any of the issues I have read about in this forum- I love them. I live in SF Bay area.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 8:04PM
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Mfn in San Franciso,
You raise an issue not addressed in the court's opinion: do the alleged defective windows share a common manufacturing date? So, were the allegedly defective windows made, say, for example, between 2006-2008?

Assuming there is merit to the allegations in the complaint, Pella will want to show that the time period involved in manufacturing these windows were quite narrow. Otherwise, this could become costly from a settlement standpoint and a nightmare from a public relation standpoint.

I'm certain Pella is taking these suits seriously since it likely does not want any further tarnishing of the brand in light of the class action lawsuits filed over the Proline window series.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 1:20PM
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