Fleming | Nolen | Jez Intervenes in Class Action Suit Against NIBCO, Inc. Related to Its PEX Plumbing Products

Today, Fleming, Nolen & Jez, LLP intervened in a class action lawsuit against one of the largest manufacturers of PEX plumbing products—NIBCO, Inc. The case concerns defective cross‑linked polyethylene or “PEX” tubing. NIBCO manufactures the PEX tubing, the fittings to connect the tubing, and the clamps that connect the tubing to the fittings. Plaintiffs allege that all three of the components (tubing, fittings, and clamps) suffer from design and/or manufacturing defects that cause premature failures. Specifically, NIBCO’s PEX tubing is subject to cracking from the inside out due to stress combined with the reaction PEX material has when it comes into contact with the small amount of chlorine that is found in drinking water throughout the United States. In addition, NIBCO’s clamps are prone to failure by chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking and its fittings fail because they are prone to dezincification corrosion.

These failures have caused catastrophic damage to homes and personal property throughout the country. As a result, many homeowners have had to replumb their entire house and, in some cases, forced to hire restoration companies to repair water damage throughout their home.

The main action is pending in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey: Cole, et al. v. Nibco, 3:13-cv-07871-FLW-TJB. The only states represented currently in the main action are New Jersey, Texas, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. In other words, 43 states are not being represented in the main action.

The decision to intervene came when Florida homeowners asked Fleming, Nolen & Jez for help after experiencing three separate leaks that caused severe water damage to their home and personal property. The Firm thoroughly investigated their claim and determined that the leaks were in fact caused by the failure of NIBCO’s plumbing products.