Homeowners in NOLA are suing Brad Pitt and his foundation for design, construction defects

The actor's nonprofit homebuilder constructed 109 homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

TRD New York /
Jan.January 20, 2019 04:00 PM

Brad Pitt, Make It Right volunteers (Credit: Getty Images)

Brad Pitt’s foray into charitable homebuilding has taken a turn fit for a Hollywood drama and a real life nightmare for residents.

The actor launched a nonprofit foundation to build homes for residents of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, which was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina, more than a decade ago and now those homeowners are suing him for poor construction and design defects, according to the New York Post.

The 109 homeowners behind the suit all have 30-year mortgages, according to their lawyer, Ron Austin. The problems with their homes, constructed by Pitt’s foundation, Make It Right, include incorrect installation of gas lines and porches that have collapsed, or are rotting.

The nonprofit builder admitted in public filings it was aware of construction issues in 2009 and estimated repairs could cost around $20 million, according to a report in the New Orleans Advocate.

“It’s sad and scary,” Austin told the Post, speaking about his clients. “They don’t have anywhere to go, and they can’t afford to move.”

Pitt is petitioning the court to remove himself from the lawsuit, reportedly arguing he has not been on the foundation’s board for years “for years,” according to an inside source. The actor is separately suing Make It Right’s executive architect.

Austin said “it’s obvious” the actor is “trying to cut and run,” and added that, if Pitt was successful, it would be a disaster for his clients.

“According to their 2015 tax filings, the foundation is insolvent. If Mr. Pitt succeeds in getting himself removed from the lawsuit, these residents will be without any remedy,” he told the outlet. [NYP] — Erin Hudson


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
From left: Milos Raonic, Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic (Credit: Getty Images)

Luxury real estate anyone? US Open stars and their palatial pads

Luxury real estate anyone? US Open stars and their palatial pads
Lena Dunham and 60 Broadway (Credit: Getty Images)

Lena Dunham’s “massive real estate mistake”

Lena Dunham’s “massive real estate mistake”
All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag

All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag

All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag
Gov. Andrew Cuomo with Judge Lawrence Marks and Judge Daniele Chinea (Getty, Linkedin, iStock)

Flip-flop on eviction ban extension highlights state’s chaotic response

Flip-flop on eviction ban extension highlights state’s chaotic response
Nelson Rockefeller and 812 Fifth Avenue Photos via Getty; StreetEasy; Google Maps)

Fifth Ave co-op owned by Rockefeller family hits market

Fifth Ave co-op owned by Rockefeller family hits market
Andre Balazs  and 158 Mercer Street (Getty; Google Maps)

André Balazs lists lavish Soho condo for $12M

André Balazs lists lavish Soho condo for $12M
Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner with 199 Mott Street (Getty; Modlin Group)

Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner list NYC pied-à-terre for $5.9M

Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner list NYC pied-à-terre for $5.9M
A million homeowners haven’t requested forbearance on their mortgages — and are now at risk for foreclosure and eviction. (iStock)

1M struggling homeowners didn’t request forbearance. Now what?

1M struggling homeowners didn’t request forbearance. Now what?
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...