Make It Right sues wood manufacturer

This week, the foundation filed a lawsuit against the wood manufacturer, Timber Treatment Technologies, LLC.

NEW ORLEANS -- Actor Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation built more than 100 energy-efficient, modern homes in the storm-ravaged Lower Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina.

But some of the wood used to construct parts of dozens of homes here is beginning to rot away.

This week, the foundation filed a lawsuit against the wood manufacturer, Timber Treatment Technologies, LLC.

The group says TTT claimed its glass-infused wood boards were, "an effective permanent barrier...to rot, decay and common wood problems."

The lawsuit claims the company refused to replace the defective wood or pay the cost of repairs and reconstruction.

"This action presents an egregious example of a manufacturer's repeated misrepresentations, breaches of warranty and knowing deceptions," the suit stated.

Vanessa Rogers, who lives on Tennessee Street in the Lower Ninth Ward, said her front stairs and decking had to be rebuilt because of the faulty wood.

"A lot of it got rotten really fast," she said. "It got so bad, I fell down the stairs."

The floor boards under Rogers' home are also decaying.

"I have all around the bottom that has to be replaced," Rogers said. "All the back porch and the deck's got to be replaced, up and down. There's a lot of work that needs to be done because of the kind of wood it is. It's really bad."

We found Michael Burns hammering down the boards on his front porch on Deslonde Street.

We've been here almost about three years now," Burns said. "I'm now in the process of treating it myself."

Burns said his damage is mild compared to others on his block.

"I've seen some houses like down the street where they completely replaced everything both inside as well as outside. It's kind of tough, you know."

Neighbors say nearly 10 years after Hurricane Katrina, thanks to the Make It Right Foundation, they finally feel home again. But, they say the problems with the wood is another reminder of how far the Lower Ninth Ward has to go to fully return.

"The storm is one thing, but then keeping everything together is a whole other storm in itself, a story in itself," Burns said.

"I guess you just have to be patient," Rogers said.

Make It Right is seeking more than $500,000 in damages

Timber Treatment Technologies did not respond to WWL-TV's request for comment on the Make It Right lawsuit.


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