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Judge Rules Brad Pitt Can Be Sued in Lawsuit Over Poorly Built New Orleans Homes

— October 30, 2019

A judge recently ruled that Brad Pitt must remain a defendant in a lawsuit alleging the homes his Make It Right foundation built for Hurricane Katrina victims are unstable.

According to Civil District Court Judge Rachael Johnson, actor Brad Pitt will continue to remain a defendant in a lawsuit that alleges the houses his charitable foundation, Make It Right, built for Hurricane Katrina victims were inadequate and unstable. The suit itself was filed in September 2018 by a handful of homeowners who allege the homes built by Pitt’s foundation “were seriously faulty and deteriorating at a rapid pace.” Shortly after the suit was filed, Pitt’s lawyers requested that he be dismissed from the suit and instead said the blame for the alleged faulty homes rested with the executive architect of the houses, John Williams. However, Johnson’s recent ruling denied that request.

A U.S. Coast Guardsman searches for survivors in New Orleans in the Katrina aftermath
A U.S. Coast Guardsman searches for survivors in New Orleans in the Katrina aftermath; image courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard via Wikimedia Commons,

At the time Pitt requested to be dismissed from the suit he argued the claims against him should be dismissed because he didn’t “owe a duty to third parties.” His lawyers further argued that the homeowners who filed the suit failed to provide “facts that support a conclusion that Mr. Pitt owed some personal duty to plaintiffs.” Additionally, they noted the homeowners failed to “provide factual allegations that Pitt had a hand in any wrongful conduct toward the homeowners either through direct actions or communications.” Furthermore, Pitt’s legal team maintained the homeowner’s claims of “negligent infliction of emotional distress can’t be brought up unless they suffered physical injuries, which they had not.”

Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Make It Right issued the following statement:

Make It Right has filed a lawsuit against its former executive architect, John Williams, and his firm for monetary damages to remediate and repair affected homes in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans, arising from his engagement with the Foundation. Make It Right continues to work proactively with homeowners in the Lower 9th Ward, and we will make no further comment on the case at this time.”

What’s wrong with the homes that Pitt’s foundation had built, though? For starters, the lawsuit alleges the homes were “deficiently constructed and built.” Problems include poor air ventilation, mold, electrical and structural issued, rotten wood, and plumbing problems,” according to the suit. The plaintiffs also allege Pitt’s foundation knew there were issues with the materials being used in the building process, but failed to provide “homeowners with notice of these design and material defects, despite the residents paying for mortgages on the homes.”

At the moment the plaintiffs are representing all homeowners who purchased houses from Make It Right and claim the foundation has “caused and will continue to cause plaintiffs to suffer significant mental distress by continuing to ignore the state of their homes.”


Judge Refuses to Remove Brad Pitt From Lawsuit Over Hurricane Katrina Victims’ Deteriorating Homes

Brad Pitt, Others Can Be Sued over New Orleans Homes, Judge Says

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