When Brad Pitt‘s Make It Right Foundation pledged to help rebuild environmentally friendly houses in New Orleans’ Lower 9th ward after Hurricane Katrina. It turns out that those houses were not very well built.
According to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate, residents of the newly built homes sued the superstar actor and others involved in the foundation four years ago for breach of contract, fraud, building practices, and defective design.
The Make It Right Foundation has now agreed to pay the property owners $20.5 million. According to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate, while only six homeowners were named in the lawsuit, the settlement will apply to all 107 homeowners unless they choose to opt-out of the payment.
From The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate:
Pending approval by a judge, each of the 107 Make It Right homeowners will be eligible to receive $25,000 as reimbursement for previous repairs made by the owners.
After attorney’s fees are paid, the rest of the money would be divided up according to the problems that are present in each of the avant-garde structures, which have been beleaguered by leaks, rot, and other defects.
The settlement papers point out that responsibility for the defects to the homes has been “vigorously” contested.
Global Green, a nonprofit organization based in California that is “devoted to ecological concerns,” will manage the funds. According to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate, they will pay out the $20.5 million to homeowners.
Pitt’s foundation admitted twice before this settlement that there were issues with the homes they built. According to reports, they sued the makers of the wood they used in 2015 for $500,000 because the water-resistant wood they used did not work against the water.
In 2018, the foundation’s attorneys sued their managing architect, John C. Williams, for the defects that were present in all of the homes. According to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Times, the foundation also sued many officials for their management of the project three years later.