Two Connecticut companies have agreed to stop selling concrete products after allegations of crumbling foundations throughout the state.
The announcement by the attorney general's office on Monday afternoon could impact the thousands of people impacted by the Connecticut crumbling foundation epidemic.
Joseph J. Mottes Company and Becker Construction voluntarily, which supplied concrete ingredients to thousands of homeowners, has agreed to stop selling materials for use in home foundations until at least June 30, 2017.
Attorney General George Jepsen said they "have dedicated significant resources to this investigation."
"Although that investigation will continue into the fall, we believe there is now sufficient evidence to conclude that significant levels of the mineral pyrrhotite in stone aggregate used in the production of concrete is a substantial contributing factor to the crumbling foundations experienced by some homeowners in eastern Connecticut. This conclusion is based on the analysis and input of our consulting scientific expert as well as other information obtained in the investigation. Further efforts are necessary to understand the full range of contributing factors and the manner that all factors interact to produce concrete deterioration," Jepsen said in a statement on Monday.
As the investigation continues into "deteriorating foundations in eastern Connecticut continues," John Patton, who is a spokesman for The Joseph J. Mottes Company, said their company, "as a good faith measure and with the goal of finding answers homeowners deserve," decided to "suspend sales of aggregate or concrete for residential home builds."
"We continue to believe this is an issue of improper installation and not materials – findings which were proven in our only Connecticut court case involving a failed foundation, the Tofolowsky decision of 2003 – and we have always cooperated with the state and will continue to do so in the hope of finding sustainable and meaningful solutions for the homeowners and future homeowners," Patton said in a statement on Monday.
Becker Construction told the attorney general's office, they will provide its customers with notice about the decision. They also stated they "post notice at its business locations and provide notice to customers that purchase stone aggregate."
The attorney general also said the joint investigation with the Department of Consumer Protection shows a high level of the mineral "pyrrhotite" is a contributing factor to the epidemic and that many homes were impacted.
"At that time, we anticipate being better able to assess any legal remedies that the state may have to address this problem and that lawmakers will have additional information on which to determine if public policy changes are warranted in the next legislative session. We commend these companies for agreeing to this voluntary step in the interest of public confidence in the safety of building materials and in allowing a full investigation to be completed," Jepsen said.
DCP Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris said "pyrrhotite is a factor in failing foundations, and that has opened up the door for us to take some preliminary action that can help consumers."
"We know the urgency of this issue for so many homeowners in eastern Connecticut, and are confident that the investigation will continue to produce the results we need to get the outcomes homeowners are looking for. This agreement with Joseph J. Mottes and Becker Construction Company will be just one of many steps forward we hope to make," Harris said in a statement on Monday.
Jepsen and Harris said "no finding of any legal violation by any party" at this time.
There have been 220 complaints of "deteriorating concrete foundations in eastern Connecticut."
To file a complaint, click here.
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