Defendant seeks to dismiss couple's suit over allegedly defective custom cabinets

Christina Stueve Feb. 27, 2012, 2:49pm



A cabinet contractor is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an Edwardsville couple over allegedly defective custom cabinets.

Huttig Building Products says it had never issued a warranty to Doug and Jeanne Wojcieszak for the products at issue in the couple's Madison County lawsuit.

The Wojcieszaks filed suit Dec. 23 against Masco Cabinetry, Huttig, R.P. Lumber Co. and Carrington Custom Homes.

They allege they will be forced to pay more than $30,000 to replace cabinets that allegedly began warping after a few years of use.

The Wojcieszaks say they installed Merillat Cabinetry in their custom home in January 2007. The couple decided to use Merillat Cabinetry after approaching their builders, Carrington and R.P. Lumber, for recommendations, according to the complaint.

The Wojcieszaks followed the recommendation, and the Merillat Cabinetry, manufactured by Masco, was installed in their home by R.P. and Carrington. The cabinetry included a 25-year warranty, the suit states.

In August 2009, the finish on the custom-built cabinets was peeling and flaking, the complaint says. The couple claims they called R.P.
In the fall of 2009, Masco replaced the damaged cabinets while Carrington and R.P. installed them free of charge, according to the complaint.

The Wojcieszaks noticed their cabinets again began to buckle and warp in December 2010. The couple contacted R.P., who allegedly told them to contact Huttig Building Products, according to the complaint.

A Huttig employee, who inspected the damage to the cabinets, decided the warping and buckling was not normal and was not caused from wear and tear, the Wojcieszaks say.

Huttig, represented by Richard Day and the law firm of Hennessy & Roachalso, also filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on Feb. 13.

Huttig says the damages alleged were caused by the plaintiff's misuse of the product for a purpose that was not foreseeable.

Huttig also states that the damages resulted from some event following its delivery of the goods, and it cannot be held responsible for the plaintiff's damages. Huttig says the plaintiffs knew or should have known of any defect in the cabinetry at the time of delivery and yet still accepted and used the product.

A Masco employee also countered the Wojcieszaks' suit, saying the cabinetry was damaged through normal use.

The Wojcieszaks claim they will be forced to incur costs of more than $30,000 to replace their cabinetry.

Doug Wojcieszak is the former head of Victims and Families United, an organization involved in the Illinois Supreme Court race between Lloyd Karmeier and Gordon Maag in 2004. Victim and Families United was aligned with the trial bar in its criticism of placing limits on lawsuits.

Peter Leritz and the law firm of Leritz, Pluntert & Bruning entered an appearance for defendant R.P. Lumber Co. on Feb. 6.

Attorneys Rebecca Jackson and Travis Campbell of the St. Louis law firm Bryan Cave on Feb. 22 announced their representation of defendant Masco Cabinetry.

Samantha S. Unsell of Belleville represents the Wojcieszaks.

Circuit Judge William Mudge is assigned to the case.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-1437.

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Bryan Cave
1 Metropolitan Square
St. Louis, MO 63102

Illinois Supreme Court
200 E Capitol Ave
Springfield, IL 62701

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