Product’s liability lawsuits associated with polybutylene water pipes led to monetary awards for qualifying property owners. The property owners gain access to funds available through the settlement by submitting an eligibility form. To qualify, the installation for the pipes must occur during a specific duration and a qualifying leak must happen inside the property.
How to Identify These Water Pipes
To identify these water pipes, the inspector begins with the exterior pipes. Exterior water pipes are gray, black, or blue in color. The pipes possess a diameter of up to one inch. They are located around the foundation or within the crawlspaces of the property. The main portion of the water lines are connected to the water supply directly. They also flow out to the public water meter. Select plumbing systems have copper connected to these water lines.
The interior water lines are connected in basements and connect to fixtures inside the property. They connect to the toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and water heaters. A common practice during the original installations connected stub-outs at the edge of walls. They were constructed of copper.
Why Do the Water Pipes Fail?
The reasons connected to failures of these water pipes involved oxidants flowing through the lines. The most common oxidant that produced pipe damage is chlorine. It led to flaking of the interior of the pipes. The flaking produced fractures of the water lines. It also introduces contaminants in the water supply and led to health hazards for the property owner.
The damage inside the pipes was hard to diagnose without internal inspections. The visible signs of external damage occurred due to these conditions. However, they were discovered at a stage in which damage was imminent and unavoidable. The occurrences led to excessive property damage and loss of personal belongings.
Statistics About Applicable Lawsuits
Class-action lawsuits were filed at the beginning of the 1980s for related product’s liabilities. The accumulated value awarded throughout these lawsuits equated to $950 million total. Among these lawsuits is Cox v. Shell Oil.
The lawsuit led to the creation of the Consumer Plumbing Recovery Center. The agency manages claim’s eligibility for properties manufactured between 1978 and 1995 that use these water pipes. Eligible properties lead to the recovery of funds to repipe the plumbing system. Property owners file a claim’s form to determine their qualification for the monetary award offered through the settlement.
Lawsuit damages provide eligible property owners with a cash value based on an estimate for replacing their water pipes. The property owner must establish eligibility and obtains an estimate for repiping services. Property owners who need to replace their polybutylene pipes contact a licensed plumber now.