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Attorney Has 'Watertight Case' Against Window Manufacturer

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San Diego, CAAttorney Stuart Eppsteiner is pretty sure he has a slam dunk multi-million dollar class action lawsuit that could benefit thousands of homeowners with leaky aluminum windows in California. Viking Industries, a subsidiary of Pella Windows, has already admitted in the depositions that the windows leak, but it's the debate over the how many windows leak and the strength of the warranty that will bring Attorney Eppsteiner and Viking to court next March for the final showdown.

Window ManufacturingViking's aluminum windows were a popular choice for small contractors and 'do-it- yourselfers' in the 1990s. "We view this as a very strong case," says Eppsteiner. "The defense admits that over half a million of their windows leaked but we believe it is more like three quarters of a million to 800,000 windows are leaking. We obviously think we have a very substantial and valid case."

The windows were manufactured and sold through home repair chains like Home Depot, Home Base and Yards—and came complete with a bold guarantee sticker in the shape of a Viking ship. "It promised a lifetime guarantee, it was very unrestricted," says Eppsteiner.

According the suit filed, plaintiffs claim the aluminum windows leaked when the sealant failed. "The windows leak at their corners," says Eppsteiner. "The combination of the geometry of the windows, the process of shipment, the expansion and contraction of the windows, due to slight movement of the house and heat and cold caused the sealant to fail and water leaked from the corners."

When the windows started dripping water at the corners, homeowners expected that lifetime warranty sticker meant what it said. "Viking has tried to assert that a separate certificate warranty--that nobody was ever given with the purchase of a window--somehow restricted that guarantee," says Eppsteiner.

Eppsteiner isn't buying that and believes Viking's argument is, like their windows, not watertight. "They're saying the warranty is restricted because of some certificate back in their office in Portland that no one ever saw," he says. "We have deposed people who have stated this was not stuck to the window with the life time guarantee sticker."

According to Eppsteiner, Viking was aware that there was a problem with the windows and before the certification hearing did its own "secret survey and inspection" to discover the extent of the problem. In depositions the company claimed that only 43 percent of the windows failed—meaning they leaked. However, Eppsteiner argues that the failure rate is a lot higher. "Our studies show that 61 percent of the windows leaked," says Eppsteiner. "They're saying
4 out of 10 windows leak. We're saying 6 out 10 leak. And windows are expensive to repair and replace."

Plaintiffs are seeking replacement of the windows and cost of damages sustained when the windows are replaced. The cost to remove and replace each window is estimated at between $500 and $700. It is believed that there 1.2 million Viking windows installed in homes in California.

Viking no longer makes the aluminum windows and now operates under a different name. The problem for homeowners is that they no longer have any way to get in touch with Viking. "There's no 1-800 number and no website," says Eppsteiner. "If you are lucky enough to know that Pella bought Viking, you may be able to get Pella to come out and service your window."

Eppsteiner says new home buyers should be on the lookout for Viking windows.
And if a homeowner thinks they have a leaky Viking aluminum window with the blue ship sticker, then they should get in touch with Eppsteiner. It may be the only way they will know for sure whether they are eligible to join the suit and save themselves a lot of money.

Stuart Eppsteiner is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law (J.D) and George Washington University (B.A.) The of firm of Eppsteiner & Fiorica has offices in San Diego, California and Boulder, Colorado. Attorneys focus on construction, products liability, class action and insurance law. They specialize in representing consumers in defective product, appliance, home, building and construction product class action lawsuits.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
We are the original owners of a newly constructed house built in 1998. Unfortunately half of our Viking windows have failed (broken seals, pane separation and cracked panes). Has there been any resolution as a result of the class action suit?

Posted by

on
To Whom It May Concern,
I had my home in Reno, NV built in 1991. It has 22 individual glass Viking windows Series 3100 as noted by the ANSI label. The seals are leaking. Some are foggy internally from moisture penetration. Is there any recourse to have these windows repaired?
Thank you in advance for any information in this matter.
Ken

Posted by

on
My house has several aluminum frame windows made by Viking that leak or have springs that have broken so the window won't stay open without propping it.

Posted by

on
We purchased the house in the summer and every thing seemed fine with the doors and the windows, but when the weather changed in the fall and winter we found several sliding and solid windows ( vinyl- double sealed) including the sliding glass door are leaking inside the glass. This is going to be expensive to replace or repair. Thanks.

Posted by

on
We have several windows and doors where the seal is broken. I contacted Pella they said they would cover 25% of the cost of the glass. Doesn't sound like a lifetime warrantee. It 2017 apparently there was a case settled in 2009. Is there anything we can do now?

Posted by

on
My house was built 1991 with Viking Tempseal double pane aluminum frame windows. 4-5 windows are foggy inside due to failed seals. I would like to get help to fix them.

Posted by

on
I have viking windows/glass door that are failing. My house was built in 1991. Is this case still open?

Posted by

on
We have Viking windows throughout our home and a third of them are failing. Please advise

Posted by

on
We have 4 defective Viking windows, they no longer close and are letting in lots of cold air. Who can we contact about this?

Posted by

on
I own a home in San Francisco & had Viking windows installed (6 sliding windows, probably from Home Depot) and 3 sets of sliding patio doors (model 3500 Sun Valley II) in January 1997. In the meantime, the patio door and windows on the top floor have failed/leaked and water has penetrated the dwelling and migrated to the apartment below. We already fixed the drywall in the unit below twice thinking it was a deck ledger flashing issue. But then had to find out it's the patio door & windows on top floor which have leaked over time & now w/massive rains. The windows are fogged up every cold morning, bottom corners are wet, seal clearly leaking, hardwood floor & carpet padding soaked.

Posted by

on
I built a room addition in 1985. The windows are Viking. They now need to be replaced. They are foggy, 2 windows 5 by 3 feet. One sliding glass door I have the original sticker which is gold and black. The address on the sticker is 18600 NE Wilkes, Portland, Or. any thing I can do to get them replaced?

Posted by

on
The house I bought has Viking Tempseal double pane sliding windows installed in 1995. The metal frame holding the glass is starting to break off and the windows leak a lot of cold air as well and condensates on the inside. Is there any recourse available to get Pella/Viking to get these windows replaced under warranty ?

Posted by

on
I have Viking double pane sliding glass windows in the house I bought in 3/2016. The house was built in the early '90's and is located in Gardnerville, NV. The seal that goes between the aluminum window frame & the metal frame that holds the glass has become so brittle that it is breaking off & disenagrating. what I would like, is for Pella to replace these seals so the windows don't leak air or water.

Posted by

on
I have a viking vinyl window that has water and rust between the panes.It came with a lifetime warrenty

Posted by

on
I purchased 15 Viking windows in 2002. Several are now leaking because of seal failure. Is Pella responsible for these since they were a sivision of Pella at the time?

Posted by

on
Purchased a home that the seller said had Viking vinyl windows with lifetime warranty. Now, six of the windows have moisture and fog, and it is hard to see out of them.

Posted by

on
I purchased Viking Windows throughout my home; many are foggy due to moisture and other have broken balances. What is the status of the Class Action Lawsuit?

Posted by

on
I have close to 20 windows that have failed and has moisture trapped in them. What is our option on getting them to honor the warranty? Just checking before having them replaced.

Posted by

on
I have Viking windows throughout my home and I have experienced the same problems as others have documented. I'm interested in having the problem resolved as per the promise of the warranty.

Posted by

on
I HAVE CHANGED ALL OF THE WINDOWS IN MY HOUSE DURING MY RE MODLE IN 2000 THERE ARE 21 WINDOWS IN ALL. The 2 16 by 16 inch have failed and have mosture in the middle. One of the 8foot by 5 foot has also failed and has mosture and is fogged up in the middle. is there any thing I can do to get them replaced. They all had the life time warranty on them.

Posted by

on
double pane Viking windows purchased 9/99. One large window has failed. Pella agreed to pay for it, by check but I have to sign a release on the rest of the windows in the house, or they will not send me the check. What can I do?

Posted by

on
Windows leak. Several are hard to slide up and down. Screens are almost impossible to remove without bending frame. Windows installed by builder us homes in colorado springs colorado.

Posted by

on
We had Viking vinyl windows installed when the house was built in 2000. There are 12 triple-glazed units in the LR/DR area. Three have been replaced due to seal/membrane failure, causing condensation and "cloudy" discolored membranes between panes. Four more now have failed and remain in place. This is crummy.

Posted by

on
I have Viking windows throughout my house, from 1995, and two have lost seal in double pane, creating a fog and moisture problem between panes that cannot be cleaned.

Posted by

on
I have viking tempseal windows throughout my house. They were installed around 1990 and are all fogged leaking and look horrible. Not to mention increased cost for cooling and heating. I believe I was told they have lifetime warranty..

Posted by

on
We have two large picture windows that where installed in 1996 that came with a lifetime warranty from Viking and they both leak and are fogged. When I buy a product just for the lifetime warranty they should horror it.

Posted by

on
I have Viking windows and sliders throughout my home. The springs have broken on several windows; there is fogging inside a picture window; and major leaking/fogging in one of the sliders. Is there any recourse? We remodeled our home in 1994, and the windows and doors were supposed to have a "Lifetime Warranty".

Posted by

on
House was built in 1998. Viking / Tempseal ALI V. I.-1 Class A were installed. Several have failed. Fogging and water spots in the voids. Any recourse?

Posted by

on
I have Viking Windows through my home and I am experienced the same problems as other with the moisture and fungus growth buildup on the windows. I would like to know who I can contact to get my windows fixed or repaired.

Posted by

on
We have Viking windows throughout our home. They do not have the Viking ship, but a seal within the top that Viking and ANS/AAMA in most of them, although some windows have lost their stickers because of moisture. We have issues that a few (four) have the lever that secures the window broken off...we are not rough people, so this should not have happened, and
the walls around the interior of the windows tends to get very moist and causes mildew. We had replaced the windows to resolve this issue. We have had the windows for a long time, but I encountered you information when I was trying to figure out where I could possible get parts, etc. I know that Pella has taken over Viking. Is there anything that I can do?

Posted by

on
I have Viking windows throughout my home and I have experienced the same problems as others have documented. I'm interested in having the problem resolved as per the promise of the warranty.

Posted by

on
I have 15 or 16 Viking windows in a house that had life time warranty, they were purchased around 2000. They leak, have fungus, and the springs brake. When i phoned them i was told there was no warranty.

Posted by

on
I have Viking windows purchased in 2002 that have the seal compromised and some type of fungus? growth between the panes of glass.

Posted by

on
I too have Viking Windows, vinyl, that are leaking, came with life time warranty but pella denying warranty

Posted by

on
I have a large window that is a vinyl window that is leaking and all fogged out. Is there something that I can do. It is mad by Viking

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