CONSUMER PROTECTION SENDS CONCRETE FOUNDATIONS REPORT TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017 – On Saturday, December 31st, the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) issued a report to the Connecticut General Assembly pursuant to Public Act 16-45, An Act Concerning Concrete Foundations regarding the Agency’s investigation into deteriorating foundations in northeastern Connecticut.
DCP’s investigation in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) focused on whether or not the state could assert a Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) claim against any party related to deteriorating foundations. In July of 2016 the OAG issued this letter to Governor Malloy and the DCP indicating the low likelihood of a successful CUTPA claim.
The investigation concluded that the mineral pyrrhotite must be present for the foundations to deteriorate in the way observed. The minimum amount of pyrrhotite needed to trigger deterioration is not yet known. Becker’s Quarry, the main source of concrete aggregate for JJ Mottes, includes more than trace amounts of pyrrhotite, and is located on a vein of rock that contains significant amounts of pyrrhotite.
JJ Mottes and Becker’s Quarry entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with the state shown below in Appendix E where they agreed not to use concrete from the quarry for residential purposes until July of 2017.
“DCP remains committed to providing our expertise and any information from our investigation we can disclose to elected officials, other government officials, and members of the private sector working together to seek remedies for homeowners,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris, “We’re pleased to have completed our investigation on schedule so that we can make information available to others trying to address this challenge. I know that our homes are often our biggest financial asset and the property closest to our hearts, and our hope is to provide the information needed to get homeowners the relief they deserve.”
The investigation included a scientific study where concrete a expert from the University of Connecticut was retained to study core samples from affected homes. DCP also conducted approximately 70 site visits to potentially affected homes, conducted roughly 90 interviews with builders identified by consumer complaint forms, conducted 85 interviews with experts involved in residential construction and foundation installation, issued 31 subpoenas to insurance companies under CUTPA, and processed over 450 complaints from potentially affected homeowners.
Complaints received by DCP include homes with foundations poured between 1983 and 2010.
DCP remains willing to provide any information they can to legislators as we move into the 2017 legislative session.
A copy of DCP’s final report and needed appendices can be found below:
Consumers may find the final report, and all other resources and documents associated with deteriorating foundations at www.ct.gov/DCP/concrete.
Lora Rae Anderson
Lora Rae Anderson