Portico Decking Customers File Lawsuit, Claim Deck Mold Policy Violates Warranty

PHILADELPHIA – Consumers, represented by Saltz, Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, P.C., who purchased Portico-brand decking manufactured by Fiberon have filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that when their decking developed mold and fungus leaving dark spotting throughout the deck surface, the company failed to honor its warranty and pay for the deck to be repaired or replaced.

The class-action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Fiberon, LLC, formerly known as Fiber Composites, LLC, manufactured Portico Series Decking products, which are made from a composite material comprised of wood fiber and polyethylene. The material was marketed as a premium alternative to traditional natural wood products at more than double the cost, the complaint alleges.

However, according to the lawsuit, the company told consumers that it expressly warrants Portico products for 20 years, and that the decking is more resilient to cracks, mold, splinters and other problems typically associated with traditional natural wood decking. The company also implied that Portico products would require less upkeep, the complaint alleges.

The plaintiffs claim that contrary to the claims made by Fiberon, Portico decking has a defect that results in extensive molding, mildew and other fungal growth that discolors the deck. They also claim they sought to have their deck repaired or replaced under Fiberon’s 20-year warranty, but the company refused to cover the damage.

One of the plaintiffs named in the complaint is David Fleisher, of North Wales, Pennsylvania. He purchased Portico decking because he believed it would be a low maintenance alternative to traditional wood decking. According to the complaint, his deck soon developed fungal growth, including large black spots. He had the deck cleaned, but the discoloration reappeared, so he sent a letter to Fiberon asking for relief under the warranty.

Fiberon responded to his letter, admitting that the deck likely had mildew or mold, but refused to cover the damage under its warranty, court documents state.

Instead of covering the damage or replacing the decking, the company tells consumers to clean their decks with chemical products at their own expense, the lawsuit claims. However, consumers say the cleaning methods do not prevent the mold for reappearing.

Some of Fiberon’s competitors offered similar composite decking products which reportedly have similar problems, and have settled class-action claims stemming from consumer complaints. Following those settlements, Fiberon allegedly removed its Portico products from the market.

The lawsuit asks the court to award consumers damages, including a full refund or replacement of their decks.

Saltz Mongeluzzi invites potential plaintiffs who purchased Portico products for their decking that now suffers from dark spotting due to fungal growth to contact Simon Paris at Saltz Mongeluzzi by calling 866-496-8282. The firm can also be reached by emailing info@smbb.com.

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