STOCKTON — A Southern California paint company has agreed to pay $107.5 million to settle a class-action suit over faulty wood sealants that left mildew damage on fences, decks and houses.
San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Carter Holly gave preliminary approval to a settlement with the maker of Behr Paints on Tuesday.
Consumers who purchased Super Liquid Rawhide or Natural Seal Plus wood sealants after Jan. 1, 1991, may be qualified to share in the settlement if they suffered mildew damage. Those who applied the sealants but did not have damage may be eligible for discounts on other Behr products.
Consumers have until Feb. 7 to accept, object or opt out of the settlement. A March 6 hearing is scheduled to determine lawyers’ fees and give final approval to the settlement.
Masco Corp., the parent company of Santa Ana-based Behr Process Corp., made no admission of liability or wrongdoing in the proposed settlement.
“Unfortunately, litigation is just part of doing business these days,” said Samuel Cypert, vice president of Masco, which is based in Taylor, Mich.
Stockton lawyer James B. Brown represented Stockton homeowner Judy Herum, the wife of his legal partner, in a lawsuit filed in July 2000.
Brown was later named liaison counsel in a nationwide class-action suit joining at least a dozen California lawsuits and others from around the country.
Behr has stopped making the two sealants targeted in the suit.