Brad Pitt tried to deny any responsibility for the subpar homes built by his charity in New Orleans but the victims of Hurricane Katrina are not having it and are going on the offensive in their class action lawsuit.
As The Blast first reported, Pitt sought to have the case against him dismissed, claiming it was not his responsibility to make sure the homes were properly built by his charity, Make It Right.
But in new court documents obtained by The Blast, the plaintiffs in the suit skewer Pitt, saying, "Mr. Pitt gladly accepted responsibility for his personal participation when the publicity was favorable ... [He] received incalculable marketing and publicity benefits from his involvement with the Foundation and the Lower Ninth Ward."
They continued, "But when it surfaced that these homeowners, who are burned with 30-year mortgages on homes that may not last another five years, defendant seeks to be dismissed from legal scrutiny by conveniently ignoring his personal participation and plaintiffs’ allegations of fraud."
The plaintiffs claim Pitt "personally participated in the tortious and fraudulent acts and omissions alleged in Plaintiffs’ Petition. He promised he would build quality, sustainable, green, safe and healthy homes designed to withstand hurricane force winds, promises upon which the homeowners detrimentally relied."
Pitt is demanding he be dismissed entirely out of the case but the plaintiffs are asking a judge to keep him in the suit.
A judge has yet to rule.
Make it Right Foundation was founded by Brad Pitt to help residents move back to the Lower Ninth Ward following Hurricane Katrina. The charity helped build affordable homes and sold them to residents whose homes were destroyed.
Earlier this year, two New Orleans residents filed a class action lawsuit against the actor and his Make it Right Foundation accusing the charity of selling them “defectively and improperly constructed homes”
The class action suit accused the foundation of knowing of multiple issues with the building materials used, but not informing the buyers.
The residents claimed the homes were rife with issues, including mold, plumbing, air quality, rotten wood, structural problems and ventilation issues.
The case is ongoing.