In re Certainteed Fiber Cement Siding Litigation

Case # 11-md-02270
Case Name In re Certainteed Fiber Cement Siding Litigation
Jurisdiction US District Court for E.D. PA
Summary

Defendants retail exterior siding products under the name "CertainTeed WeatherBoards FiberCement". This siding was significantly defective, "such that it prematurely fails, causing damage to underlying structures (See Second Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint, paragraph 4). The siding was purportedly covered under a 50 year warranty but Plaintiffs allege that Defendants routinely dodged legitimate warranty claims regarding their defective products.  

Final Approval Date 03/20/2014
Result
  1. Final Approval granted.
  2. Objections of the Jabranis were overruled (see extended discussion below).
  3. The Jabranis (through Attorneys Bandas, Frank, Lightman, and Manochi) appealed the Final Approval.
  4. Appeal was voluntarily withdrawn.
Dismissal of Last Appeal 08/09/2014
Attachments Docket Report.pdf
Second Consolidated Amended Complaint.pdf
Preliminary Approval Order.pdf
Fairness Hearing Transcript.pdf
Final Approval.pdf
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Objection of Amirali Jabrani, Janet Jabrani, Real Homes, Inc

Objectors Amirali Jabrani
Janet Jabrani
Real Homes, Inc
Signers Christopher M. Arfaa
Attorneys Christopher M. Arfaa
Peter C. Woods
Glenn A. Manochi
Christopher A. Bandas
Theodore H. Frank
Gary P. Lightman
Summary

NOTE: Real Homes, Inc is a company wholly owned by the Jabranis.

  1. Attorneys' fees are excessive and improperly calculated.
  2. Different sub-classes produce impermissible intra-class conflict.

The Jabranis went through four different proxy counsels. Christopher M. Arfaa initially appeared as local counsel, withdrawing his appearance on January 24, 2014. Peter C. Woods was engaged as local counsel to represent the Jabranis during their depositions. Glenn A. Manochi and Gary P. Lightman then served as local counsel for the remainder of the litigation process. Ted Frank billed 19.5 hours of work as an independent expert on the initial objection, at $900 an hour (see Motion for Attorneys' Fees for Jabrani Objectors, Expert Report of Ted Frank, paragraph 7). Frank then filed an appearance on the appeal, which was withdrawn the same day the Jabranis withdrew their appeal. Christopher Bandas did not file an appearance until the objection was on appeal but was listed as "of counsel" on documents filed in the District Court.

Class counsel attempted to conduct a deposition of the Jabrani objectors but repeatedly attempted to avoid service of the subpoenas for deposition (see Motion to Compel, Affidavit of Process Server). Ultimately, the Jabranis were made available for a deposition, following the Court granting a Motion to Compel Depositions. However, the Jabranis' attorney at the deposition, Peter Woods, repeatedly stressed that they were made available as a courtesy and that they still contested the necessity of the depositions.

The Jabrani objectors then moved to incorporate the withdrawn objections of Gary Juelich, which the Court denied.

Following the Final Approval, the Jabranis moved for $140,000 in attorneys' fees and incentive payments of $2,000 for themselves (including $17,500 in fees for Ted Frank for the supposedly successful objection). This motion came about due to a supposed improvement of tens of millions of dollars to the class. This improvement came from the clarification that settlement funds would not revert to Defendants after the conclusion of the claims period. This objection was not made by the Jabranis in their initial filings with the Court and seems to have been adopted from the withdrawn objection of Gary Juelich. Ultimately, the Court disagreed with the Objectors, noting that their assertions of having improved the Settlement are "entirely devoid of merit." The Court also noted that "The Janrani objectors testified at their depositions that they never reviewed the settlement website or the documents posted on the website. If they had, they would have learned that there was no reversion to Certainteed provided in the agreement." (see Denial of Motion for Attorneys' Fees).

Despite their supposedly successful objection, the Jabranis still appealed the Final Approval. Class counsel motioned for, and was granted, a $5,000 appeal bond.

The Jabranis ultimately voluntarily withdrew their appeal on 08/09/2014, the same day Ted Frank withdrew his appearance as their attorney.

Attachments Objection of Amirali Jabrani et al.pdf
Arfaa Appearance for Jabrani et al Objectors.pdf
Withdrawal of Arfaa as Local Counsel for Jabrani Objectors.pdf
Motion to Compel Depositions of Bandas Objectors.pdf
Affidavit of Process Server Regarding Jabrani Subpoenas.pdf
Order Granting Motion to Compel Depositions of Bandas Objectors.pdf
Motion to Reconsider Motion to Compel Bandas Objectors.pdf
Notice of Deposition Attendance (Jabrani).pdf
Manochi Appearance for Bandas Objectors.pdf
Status Report Regarding Jabrani Objections.pdf
McShane Declaration Part 1.pdf
McShane Declaration Part 2.pdf
Notice of Supplemental Objections (Jabrani).pdf
Supplemental Objections of Jabrani Objectors.pdf
Order Denying Motion to File Supplemental Objections (Jabrani).pdf
Bandas Retainer Agreement.pdf
Fairness Hearing Transcript.pdf
Motion for Attorneys' Fees for Jabrani Objectors.pdf
Plaintiffs' Response to Motion for Attorneys' Fees for Jabrani Objectors.pdf
Defendants' Response to Motion for Attorneys' Fees for Jabrani Objectors.pdf
Denial of Motion for Attorneys' Fees for Jabrani Objectors.pdf
http://www.law360.com/articles/533654/challengers-of-104m-home-siding-deal-lose-attys-fee-bid
Appeal of Jabrani Objectors.pdf
Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Memorandum in Support of Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Jabrani Objectors Response to Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Reply to Response to Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Order Granting Appeal Bond.pdf
Bandas Appearance for Jabrani Objector-Appellants.pdf
Frank Appearance for Jabrani Objector-Appellants.pdf
Motion to Dismiss Appeal of Jabrani Objector-Appellants.pdf
Withdrawal as Counsel by Frank for Jabrani Objector-Appellants.pdf
Dismissal of Jabrani Appeal.pdf
Motion to Recover Appeal Bond.pdf
Order Granting Motion to Recover Appeal Bond.pdf
Jabrani Appeal Docket.pdf
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Objection of James Blake Jr.

Objectors James Blake Jr.
Signers Jeffrey L. Weinstein
Attorneys Jeffrey L. Weinstein
Summary
  1. Court lacks jurisdiction.
  2. Some class members may have suffered no injury.
  3. Intraclass conflicts necessitate separate classes and counsels.
  4. For those with past and future damages.
  5. For those in different states.
  6. Many class members will receive no relief for their release of claims.
  7. Settlement funds may revert to Defendants.
  8. Class members do not have adequate ability to review attorneys' fees.

NOTE: Objection was voluntarily withdrawn on January 24, 2014.

Attachments Objection of James Blake Jr.pdf
Weinstein Appearance for Objector Blake.pdf
Withdrawal of Blake Objection.pdf
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