Today’s Tip of the Week centres around the Kitec Class-Action Lawsuit, where $97-million has remained unclaimed from a settlement, but only a fraction of eligible applicants have sought compensation. Information for is article is taken from articles found on the CBC website.
What is Kitec, and why is there a Kitec class-action lawsuit?
A type of plumbing sold between 1995 and 2007 called Kitec, which was billed as a cheaper and easy-to-install alternative copper piping before it was recalled because both the fitting and the pipes were prone to deterioration. The product may have other brand names, including PlumBetter, IPEX AQUA and WarmRite. The $125-million settlement covers North America and was approved by both American and Canadian courts. 20% was designated for legal fees, notices and other administration, leaving $100-million to pay for claims of leaks and floods caused by Kitec fixtures and pipes. The settlement came into effect on January 10, 2012, but so far only approximately $3-million has been paid out in claims.
Could you be eligible for the Kitec class-action settlement?
It is estimated that 292,000 North Americans have the product in their homes, but it is unknown how many are in Canada. IIt can be identified by its bright orange (hot water) and bright blue (cold water) covering. The piping is labelled with ASTM 1281. In the past seven years, 4,412 North Americans have applied for and received partial compensation. Of those, 485 were Canadian claims that paid a total of under $700,000. Most payments were in the hundreds or low thousands. Right now, partial compensation is being paid to homeowners who have experienced leaks, but that amount may be increased when teh deadline for claims expires on January 9, 2010. At that point, if there are funds remaining, claimants will receive a supplemental payment.
Could you file a claim for the Kitec class-action lawsuit even if you have not experienced leaks with your Kitec system?
Even people who have not had issues with leaks or pipe bursts can be eligible for compensation. Real estate agents agree that Kitec is an issue that comes up with both buyers and sellers, as it can diminish the value of the home, or can increase insurance rates on a home.
Our tip of the week:
If you have the Kitec system in your home, speak to a lawyer about filing a claim. While the partial payments are quite modest, by January 2020 you might be eligible for supplemental payments, based on how many people have filed claims and the severity of damage. Please visit www.kitecsettlement.com for more information about this class-action lawsuit. If you have any questions about how the Kitec system may impact the sale of your home, or the purchase of a future home, please feel free to contact us