12:34, November 21 21 0 usmagazine.com

2018-11-21 12:34:05

 

Brad Pitt Denies Responsibility for Deteriorating Hurricane Katrina Homes

Not his fault? Brad Pitt is fighting a class action lawsuit that claims he is responsible for deteriorating homes built by his foundation, Make It Right, in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

In court documents obtained by Us Weekly, which were filed in Louisiana on Tuesday, November 20, the actor, 54, claims that “he does not owe a duty to third parties” and the plaintiffs in the case “state several times that they are extremely grateful to Mr. Pitt for his efforts in helping to rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward.”

The plaintiffs, who bought homes from Make It Right, allege that they learned the houses “had various construction defects, including structural, electrical and plumbing issues.”

Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt attends the 7th Annual Sean Penn Michael Kovac/Getty Images

However, though he is a member of the foundation’s board, Pitt does not believe he should be named in the lawsuit. “Mr. Pitt cannot simply be lumped together with other defendants and held liable for alleged conduct in which he is not even alleged to have participated,” the motion to dismiss claims.

According to the documents, Make It Right was founded “with the mission of building high-performance, sustainably-designed homes to be sold at affordable prices to residents of the Lower Ninth Ward, following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.”

But the Fight Club star’s legal team alleges that the class action “contains no allegations that Mr. Pitt committed any act or omission, other than in his capacity as a Director, which allegedly caused plaintiffs emotional distress, much less physical injury.”

Hurricane Katrina caused 1,833 deaths in August 2005. CNN reported that 70 percent of the city’s occupied housing was destroyed.

Pitt opened up about his work in New Orleans during an August 2010 interview with NBC Nightly News. “People build their lives here,” he said at the time. “And I mean, New Orleans is a unique place to begin with. And I say a cultural treasure trove for America to begin with. But the thing that struck me was that these people were trying to … get home. And were having a very difficult time doing so.”

The Ocean’s Eleven actor and his estranged wife, Angelina Jolie, purchased a home in New Orleans in 2007 shortly after he founded Make It Right. The pair — who are currently engaged in a custody battle over their six children — sold the house for $4.9 million in October 2016, one month after they announced their split.

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