Rust-Oleum faces a class action lawsuit over its line of Restore deck products, which alleges the company falsely advertised the products as superior and effective, when in fact they are prone to adhesion failures and often leave consumers with expensive repairs.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Nancy Cole in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division on May 25, seeking class action status to pursue damages on behalf of all consumers nationwide who paid a premium for Rust-Oleum Restore deck products, based on misleading and false benefits purportedly offered by the products.
The lawsuit involves Rust-Oleum Restore Deck Start Wood Primer, Restore 2X One Coat Solid Stain, and Restore 4X Deck Coat, which are collectively referred to in the complaint as Restore products.
The plaintiff claims Rust-Oleum markets these surface applications for use on wooden decks and similar structures which require periodic upkeep, advertising that the products are superior, durable, resist the elements, and require lower-maintenance. However, the lawsuit indicates these advertising claims are deceptive and misleading, and were only designed to influence consumers to pay a premium for products which do not live up to the company’s claims.
Specifically, Cole claims the Restore products prematurely degrade, chip, peel, flake, strip and deteriorate. Contrary to label claims, the Restore products fail to provide the advertised protection for decks, patios, and other structures to which these products are applied, causing those consumers to suffer extensive damage and to incur monetary losses, according to the complaint.
The Rust-Oleum class action raises allegations that the manufacturer knew, or should have known, the Restore products suffer from a defect during pre-sale testing, yet omitted and concealed the information to persuade consumers to pay a premium for their products based on false label claims.
Cole further claims Rust-Oleum Corporation refuses to recognize the defect, and when consumers complain about how the product failed, the manufacturer’s only remedy is exchanging the product with a similar defective Restore product, or providing a refund for the cost of the Restore product, leaving customers with the expenses of repairing their decks and patios.
The lawsuit presents claims of breach of express and implied warranty, fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and violations of the New York Deceptive Acts and Practices Act.
Cole seeks to represent a nationwide class or, in the alternative a class of New York state residents, who purchased one of the products and suffered related injuries. Cole further seeks to recover three times the cost of class members actual damages, up to $10,000 per individual.
The Rust-Oleum Restore lawsuit is similar to the a class action filed against the manufacturer in January 2016, which also raised allegations the company’s Rust-Oleum Corp.’s Deck & Concrete Restore and Restore 10X products did not perform as advertised. Parties in that lawsuit ultimately reached a $9.3 million settlement for class members impacted by the losses caused by the wood and concrete resurfacing product line.