Letter to the Editor:

Over the past year your magazine has published two stories ("84's Antagonists" and "84 Lumber Fights Four-Year Battle Over Claims of Shoddy Construction") concerning 84 Lumber Company and lawsuits that we are involved in regarding installed construction projects.  First, let me emphatically state that in both of these cases we believe we are correct in our position and that we will be successful. Most importantly, in both cases we are the plaintiff, we initiated the lawsuits as we are owed millions of dollars in these two situations.

What I find bewildering is ProSales' apparent lust to publicize these two cases involving my company, yet ignoring the thousands of installed projects we have performed over the past five years. These range from framing, insulation, roofing, siding, doors and windows, and other products on single family homes, to large projects including hotels and mixed use developments.

To follow the logic of ProSales, the only two lawsuits in the construction industry involve 84 Lumber Company. Like it or not, the nature of the construction industry is that lawsuits are prevalent. Law firms have entire departments dedicated to construction law; there are arbitration rules designed specifically for construction; a search of legal data bases would reveal thousands of active cases of homeowners suing builders, builders suing suppliers, suppliers suing builders, and on and on and on.

Are we pleased that some projects result in litigation? Absolutely not, but the reality is that a company, regardless of its size must defend itself when it has performed the work and yet has not been paid. Coincidentally, the accusations of inadequate or defective workmanship are only brought forward once we have filed suit seeking to be paid what is rightfully owed us.

Our company has been in business since 1956. We operate 254 stores and manufacturing plants in 30 states. Our associates in my opinion are the best in the business and work tirelessly to ensure that our customers, regardless of size are completely satisfied with our products and services.  It is part of our culture to do everything possible to ensure our customers are satisfied, and successful.

This, however, does not mean we will roll over and not defend ourselves and the good name of our company and associates. Those who offer specific comments to the media about matters in litigation are merely following the formula of someone whose case is at best weak. Their goal is through media pressure to attempt to extract a settlement favorable to them. We will not debate any case in the media–suffice to say we believe the merits of these cases will prove us correct. I hope the editors of ProSales cover this outcome with the same zeal with which they develop stories that are lacking in facts and substance, but heavy on innuendo and cast my company in an unfair negative light.

Again, I’ll ask. Why are these stories published?

Jeff Nobers

Vice President, Marketing

84 Lumber Company