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November 14, 2013 / Shehnaz M. Bhujwala

Tremco, Inc. May Have Sold Defective Roofing Products to California Consumers

If you have purchased any of Tremco, Inc.’s roofing or sealant products, you may have paid too much for too little.

Tremco, Inc. is one of the Nation’s leading suppliers of roof manufacturing and restoration materials and services, and a world-wide leader in the manufacture and sales of sealants and adhesives. In August of this year, Tremco’s parent company settled a $60.9 million dollar lawsuit brought by the federal government seeking damages and civil penalties for price gorging, unfair pricing, and defective roofing products all in connection with roofing supplies and services purchased from Tremco. Such practices violate the False Claims Act, a statute which seeks to ensure fair contracting between corporations and the government. (31 U.S.C. §3729 et seq.)

The lawsuit followed after Tremco’s former Vice President of Product Management Gregory Rudolph came forward and blew the whistle on numerous instances of unfair pricing and defective product sales. Rudolph alleged, among other unfair business practices, that Tremco installed roofing products with known defects, over-specified bids for jobs in order to over-charge, and unnecessarily utilized its subsidiary, WTI, in order to inflate costs and lock-out competition. (See United States et al. v. Tremco Inc. et al., Case Number 1:10-cv-01192.)

According to one report, documents disclosed as a result of the lawsuit reveals Tremco actually marketed a “premium” line of products to customers that were identical in chemical composition to their “generic” line of products, but garnered a higher price. Customers paying those prices believed they were getting a “premium” product, when in actuality only the labeling was different.

State consumer protection laws, similar to the False Claims Act, exist to protect consumers and private businesses from companies like Tremco who engage in unfair and malicious business practices to cheat consumers. For example, the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act prohibits companies from representing that goods are of a specific quality when they are not. (Cal. Civil Code. 1770(a)(7).)

Roofing and weatherproofing are important aspects of everyday commercial and private life. They protect our families and employees while inside, keeping weather, and sometimes disease outside. A poignant example is the highly publicized salmonella outbreak at Peanut Corp. of America in 2008-2009, caused in part by leaky roofs on their factories allowing bird feces-infested water to enter the facility. (See, prweb.com; online.wsj.com; Wikipedia.org.)

Popular labels in the Tremco product line include TREMproof, Trempro, TremLock, TremSEAL, Decktite, Spectrem and Dymonic. Tremco products are typically sold and installed by roofing services contractors such as Weatherproofing Technologies, Inc.

If you or someone you know are a California resident who recently purchased roofing, sealant or adhesive products or services from Tremco or one of its local contractors, contact Khorrami Boucher Sumner Sanguinetti, LLP to discuss your legal rights and available remedies.

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