What if a product advertised to decrease the time you had to spend on a task actually enormously increased it? That’s essentially the charge leveled by the complaint for this class action at Behr’s DeckOver deck and concrete resurfacing and restoration product, sold exclusively at Home Deport stores.
The nationwide class for this action includes all individuals and entities living in the US that bought DeckOver, not for resale. The Oregon subclass or alternative class includes all individuals and entities living in Oregon that bought DeckOver, not for resale.
According to the complaint, DeckOver products typically cost three to five times as much as other paints and stains, but the sellers justify this price by claiming that it is more durable (four or five times thicker), that it improves decks by filling in cracks and splinters, and that it resists cracks, peeling, and mildew, and that it won’t simply cover deck surfaces and concrete floors but “rejuvenate” them and provide “waterproofing” to “[b]ring new life to old wood and concrete surfaces” with “long lasting results”.
These kinds of promises are used in DeckOver’s labels, product literature, point-of-sale advertising, and website product descriptions, the complaint alleges, and they lead consumers to think that they will eliminate the expense and difficulty of replacing an old deck and reduce the upkeep it requires, thus justifying the higher cost of the product. Even Home Depot used or adopted Behr’s claims, the complaint says, by posting outdoors billboards or signs claiming that using DeckOver was “3 times less expensive than replacing deck boards.”
However, the complaint claims, the claims are actually “false, deceptive, and misleading,” because DeckOver is an inferior product that is likely to fail shortly after it is applied—in a matter of months, or even weeks.
The complaint claims that the DeckOver products “routinely crack, chip, peel, bubble, fail, or degrade” and that not only does it fail to waterproof decks, it allows moisture to enter so that the deck degrades and mildews. Thus consumers who use DeckOver, the complaint claims, are faced with the trouble and costs of removing it, re-preparing surfaces, and recoating them, or even entirely replacing decks or surfaces.
The complaint further claims that Behr has been aware of the problems with DeckOver products for a long time, reviewing and even responding to customer complaints, and allegedly even removing complaints about DeckOver from its Facebook page. Because Behr has hidden the defects of its DeckOver products, the complaint claims that the company is estopped from asserting any defense based on a statute of limitations.
Furthermore, the complaint says that since Behr’s “Standard Sales Terms and Conditions” states that all transactions for purchase of Behr products are “construed and interpreted, and the rights of the parties determined, in accordance with the laws of the State of California without regard to any conflict of laws provisions that might otherwise apply.” The complaint therefore claims that the company is responsible for violations of California consumer and business laws.