I had a Trex Winchester Grey deck installed by a licensed contractor in September of 2005. Beginning last year I also started to experience cracking flaking over approximately 5% of the deck surface. I had my contractor look at it and he confirmed that the material was likely defective.
I didn't file a claim with Trex at the time. Their claim requirements were onerous. This year the damage has spread to about 10% of the deck and the older damaged areas are getting much worse.
I received the notice of the class action suit yesterday. I read it carefully and am troubled.
It basically says that they, at their sole discretion, will replace any boards currently damaged, will pay up to $225 for labor and that this settlement releases them from any further claims.
1)My damage has gone from 5% to 10% of the deck in a year and there are indications that it will be 20% next year. Given that my material was delivered in a sealed factory lot, I have every reason to believe that the balance of my decking (an extruded plastic product) will be bad eventually. If I opt into the settlement I appear to be releasing them from any future claims if, as is likely, the balance of the deck goes bad. This seems like a bad idea.
2)Internet research seems to suggest that Trex has a history of blaming improper instillation for their problems. This tactic is impossible for a layman to counter as Trex is the sole authority to judge improper instillation. This effectively dilutes blame.
3)$225 for labor? A sad joke.
At the moment I am leaning towards opting out of the settlement and going to small claims court. I spoke to my contractor today and he gave me a quote of $8500 total to replace the deck surface. Our small claims court limit is $7500 and I'd take a small loss rather than leave it to Trex.
Also I'm having a lot of difficulty finding the final opt out date.
I am not too concerned about losing in court. I am concerned that if I win in court that they will go bankrupt prior to my perfecting my claim.
Any comments or suggestions?