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Judge Allows Breach of Warranty Claims Against Atlas Roofing Corporation

May 23, 2014

A Georgia federal judge has dismissed some claims in a proposed class action against Atlas Roofing Corp. over its allegedly defective Chalet roof shingles, but has allowed breach of warranty and other claims to go forward.

Though the judge said the plaintiffs “only adequately allege damage to the shingles themselves,” and claims of damage to “other property” were “too ambiguous,” he did allow claims that Atlas violated an express warranty for the shingles, Law360 reports. U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. ruled that Atlas’s marketing materials and packaging, which said the shingles meet building codes and industry standards, created a warranty with the purchaser. The judge said a South Carolina couple properly alleged that they relied on the warranty and would have bought shingles from another manufacturer if Atlas hadn’t made the warranty. Consumers have reported that their roofs began to deteriorate as early as one year after installation and they are facing expensive repairs and even full roof replacement years sooner than expected.

The judge allowed the claim that Atlas fraudulently concealed the shingles’ manufacturing defect, saying Atlas had a duty to disclose the problem in its manufacturing process if the plaintiffs could not have reasonably uncovered it themselves, according to Law360. Atlas's shingles come with a limited 30-year warranty against manufacturing defects, and the judge kept most of the suit's declaratory judgment claims, but he dismissed the request that Atlas pay the cost to inspect all class members’ shingles to see if they need replacement, saying the plaintiffs did not provide any law or contract basis for that claim.

The current suit is part of a multidistrict litigation created in December that consolidated six product liability cases over the Atlas Chalet shingles from federal courts in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, and Tennessee.

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