WARROAD (AP) -- Marvin Windows and Doors has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by customers whose doors and windows rotted prematurely after they were treated with an allegedly defective wood preservative.
The settlement will give customers who bought certain Marvin windows and doors manufactured from 1985 to 1989 discounts of 38 percent to 58 percent on replacement products, depending on the homeowner's situation.
The number of customers covered by the class isn't known, said Don Brown, an attorney for Marvin. Brown said the affected windows and doors were used in an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 buildings during that timeframe, "but not all of those (customers) will have problems."
Lawyers Charles Zimmerman and Steven Schwartz, who represented the plaintiffs, said they were pleased with the settlement.
"Marvin stepped up to the plate and we were able to make this an appropriate resolution for consumers," they said in a prepared statement.
Under terms of the agreement, affected customers have from Aug. 15 through Oct. 8 to opt out of the settlement and until Sept. 30, 2004, to file a claim.
The agreement is subject to approval by Hennepin County District Judge Bruce Peterson, who is expected to rule by Oct. 23.
Susan Marvin, president of the company, said the settlement "allows us to focus on solving problems for our customers, rather than litigating. And it provides structure and predictability" in managing the company's costs for replacing the affected windows and doors, she said.
Marvin declined to say how much the settlement might cost the privately owned company, which sells its products worldwide.
She said it was difficult to determine the cost because it isn't known how many of the products actually will decay or how many people will seek discounts on replacements.
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