Couple seeks $900K over warped cabinets; Plaintiff was head of victims' advocacy group

By Kelly Holleran | Jan 2, 2012


Two Edwardsville residents allege they will be forced to pay more than $30,000 to replace cabinets that they say began warping after only a few years of use.

Doug and Jeanne Wojcieszak filed a lawsuit Dec. 23 in Madison County Circuit Court against Masco Cabinetry, Huttig Building Products, R.P. Lumber Co. and Carrington Custom Homes.

In their complaint, the Wojcieszaks allege they elected to install Merillat Cabinetry in the custom home they chose to build at 3337 Karros Court in January 2007. The couple decided to utilize Merillat Cabinetry after approaching their builders, Carrington and R.P. Lumber, for recommendations, according to the complaint.

The Wojcieszaks say they elected to follow the recommendation, and the Merillat Cabinetry, manufactured by Masco, was installed in their home by R.P. and Carrington. Along with the installation, the cabinetry included a 25-year warranty, the suit states.

In August 2009, the couple began to notice the finish on the custom-built cabinets was peeling and flecking, the complaint says. Promptly, they claim they called R.P.

In the fall of 2009, Masco replaced all of the damaged cabinets while Carrington and R.P. installed them free of charge, according to the complaint.

However, the Wojcieszaks noticed that their cabinets again began to buckle and warp in December 2010, the suit states. The couple contacted R.P., which informed them to contact Huttig Building Products, the complaint says.

Huttig sent out an employee to inspect the damage to the cabinets. The employee decreed that the warping and buckling was not normal and was not caused from usual wear and tear, the Wojcieszaks say.

On the other hand, a Masco employee countered the claim, saying the cabinetry was damaged from normal use, according to the complaint. As a result, the company refused to replace the couple's cabinets a second time, the suit states.

"As a direct and proximate result of defendant, Masco's, breach of contract, the aesthetic appearance of plaintiff's home has been substantially affected, causing the property to be out of character for the area and of diminished value, thereby interfering with the plaintiffs' use and enjoyment of the home," the complaint says.

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

In their complaint, the Wojcieszaks seek a judgment of more than $900,000.

Doug Wojcieszak is the former head of Victims and Families United, an organization that was 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.

More recently, Wojcieszak was involved in an effort to reopen a $1.2 billion Williamson County jury verdict against State Farm Insurance, having signed an affidavit in support of the plaintiff's move to vacate a 2005 Illinois Supreme Court order that dissolved the case.

In the attempt to revive Avery v. State Farm, plaintiffs argued that the insurer had concealed support of Karmeier in the election of 2004.

The Illinois Supreme Court in November denied the attempt to reopen Avery.

Samantha S. Unsell of Belleville will be representing them.

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

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