James Hardie

PHOTO: Source: 1 NEWS

A group of homeowners have failed to prove that James Hardie’s Harditex cladding caused their homes to leak and rot.

144 homeowners were suing the building giant at the High Court in Wellington claiming Harditex was defective, insufficiently tested prior to being released to the market, and did not meet durability standards.

But Justice Simon France has ruled the homeowners claim has failed.

“On the evidence in this case it has not been shown that Harditex was a flawed product unable to deliver a watertight house,” he said in the judgement.

“Analysis of the plaintiffs’ houses, including six houses from the wider claim group, has revealed a disturbing pattern of incompetent building and poor texture coating that is more likely, in my view, to be the cause of the damage suffered by these properties.”

Katrina Fowler, homeowner, and chair of the plaintiffs’ management committee said the owners were very disappointed and surprised the court found against them.

“We have fought hard over the past six years and we still believe that our claim has merit,” she said.

“We will now be analysing the judgment with our advisors and exploring our options.”