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Windsor Windows Settlement

Frequently Asked Questions

Basic Information

  1. Why did I receive the Notice regarding the lawsuit?

    You received the Notice because you have a right to know about a proposed class action settlement and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to give “final approval” to the Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who may be eligible for those benefits, and how to get them.

    Judge Lynn Adelman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin is overseeing this lawsuit. The Settlement resolves the cases transferred to the multi-district litigation known as In re Windsor Wood Clad Window Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 16-MD-02688.

    The persons who sued are called “Plaintiffs” or “Named Plaintiffs,” and the companies being sued, Windsor Window Company and Woodgrain Millwork, Inc. are called the “Defendants.”

    If you did not receive the Notice, you can review a copy here.

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  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    The Plaintiffs claim that certain windows manufactured and/or sold by the Defendants contain manufacturing and/or design defects that they claim have caused damage to windows, window finishing, homes, and other structures containing windows, and/or personal property allegedly resulting from water-related intrusion. The Plaintiffs ask for money and other benefits for people and entities that own homes, buildings, and structures that contain the Pinnacle and Legend Series windows that are now defined as Qualifying Windows.

    The Defendants deny the claims and allegations in the lawsuit and deny any and all liability for any and all claims that have or could have been asserted regarding Windsor’s Pinnacle and Legend Series Windows. Windsor specifically denies that any of the Qualifying Windows have either a design or manufacturing defect.

    The Court has not decided who is right, but both the Plaintiffs and the Defendants have agreed to a settlement to end the lawsuit and avoid further related costs and burdens.

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  3. Why is the Settlement proposed a class action settlement?

    Proposed class action settlements typically get reviewed by a court twice: once for preliminary approval and once for final approval. As part of approving a class action settlement, courts certify a settlement class and appoint class representatives. That class is a "Settlement Only Class" (a.k.a., a class certified only for settlement). The Court has certified a Settlement Only Class and has appointed Named Plaintiffs to represent the Settlement Only Class, and it gave the proposed settlement final approval on July 11, 2018.

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  4. Why is there a settlement?

    The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or Defendants. Instead, both sides agreed to settle this case to avoid the cost and risk of litigation. The settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that the Defendants did anything wrong. Defendants deny all legal claims in this case. The Named Plaintiffs and their lawyers think the settlement is best for all Settlement Class Members.

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Eligibility

  1. How do I know if I am included in the Settlement Class?

    The Settlement includes all individuals and entities in the United States who are previous, current, or subsequent owners of a structure with Qualifying Windows (“Qualifying Structure”) that has Additional Damage, or that has Qualifying Windows that exhibit Qualifying Damage by the end of the Claim Period. Examples of how to determine whether your windows are Qualifying Windows can be found here. If you are unsure whether you are a part of the settlement, you can contact the Settlement Administrator at:

    Windsor Windows Settlement
    P.O. Box 3770
    Portland, OR 97208-3770

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  2. What is a Qualifying Window?

    A Qualifying Window is a Pinnacle or Legend Series window manufactured by Windsor between January 1, 2000, and January 5, 2018. Legend Series windows also include Legend Hybrid windows manufactured by Windsor. A window factory-mulled by Windsor and installed in one opening is considered one Qualifying Window. “Mulling” is a process that connects two or more windows together, and the connected windows then fit into one opening in a wall.

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  3. How do I know if I have the Windsor Window product in my home?

    Windsor Windows include tape-glazed windows manufactured between January 1, 2000 and January 5, 2018. A complete list of these products, including photographs and further information on how to identify these Windows, can be found here.

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  4. Who is excluded from the Settlement?

    Excluded from the Settlement Class are:

    • Woodgrain, Windsor, and their owners, subsidiaries and affiliates;
    • Windsor’s distributors and/or dealers;
    • Counsel of record in the MDL and Transferred Actions and their immediate family members;
    • The judges who are or have been assigned to the MDL and Transferred Actions and their immediate family members;
    • Any individual or entity that has previously settled disputes with Windsor that would otherwise be governed by this Agreement and for which there is a written Settlement Agreement, nor does the Settlement Class include any individual or entity that has asserted a claim in court or arbitration against Windsor and has had the claim dismissed with prejudice; and
    • Any individual or entity that timely requests exclusion from the Settlement Class.

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  5. What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement?

    If you are not sure whether you are in the Settlement Class, or have any other questions about the settlement, call the toll free number, 1-888-530-6598. You may also write with questions to Windsor Windows Settlement, P.O. Box 3770 Portland, OR 97208-3770, or send an email to info@windowsettlements.com.

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Settlement Benefits – What You Get if You Qualify

  1. Who is eligible to get a payment or other benefits under the Settlement?

    To be eligible to seek money and other benefits under the Settlement, a Settlement Class Member must have suffered “Qualifying Damage” or “Additional Damage.” Qualifying Damage is visible wood rot to a Qualifying Window, which may be evidenced by staining, discoloration, and/or deterioration. Staining or discoloration alone, however, is not sufficient by itself without visible wood rot. Additional Damage is visible rotting or deterioration to walls, drywall, insulation, or other home or building materials where such damage extends perpendicularly (straight) below the sill of the window opening of a Qualifying Window. Such rotting or deterioration may be evidenced by staining or discoloration, but staining or discoloration alone is not sufficient to support a claim.

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  2. What are the benefits of the Settlement?

    There are four benefits available to Settlement Class Members: Window Sash Replacements, Compensation or Replacement for Window Frame, Compensation for Additional Damage, and Reimbursement for Prior Repairs.


    1. Window Sash Replacements:

    A window sash is the portion of the window that includes the internal framing that holds the glass.

    If you demonstrate Qualifying Damage on a Qualifying Window sash not caused by condensation, then Windsor will provide a replacement sash. You must provide separate pictures showing the Qualifying Damage for each sash for which replacement is sought. If you are entitled to receive a replacement sash, you may pick up the sash free-of-charge from the Windsor distributor nearest you or, at your expense, you may elect to have the sash shipped to you.

    Condensation is water vapor from the air deposited on any cold surface like glass. Wood rot on the interior side of a window that is not contiguous to any potential leak path is caused by condensation. Wood rot caused by condensation produces a recognizable pattern.

    A replacement sash will have a warranty for the longer of either two (2) years from the date of pickup from the Windsor distributor or shipment to a location elected by the Claimant, or the remainder of Windsor’s original warranty, if applicable to the Qualifying Window(s) for which the Claimant received a replacement sash. The settlement specifies how a future warranty claim on the replacement sash may be filed and decided on the replacement sash.


    2. Compensation or Replacement for Window Frame:

    A window frame is the fixed outer part of a window that attaches to the wall and surrounds the entire window system, including the window sash.

    If you demonstrate Qualifying Damage on a Qualifying Window frame that has been caused by water intrusion caused by the window itself (as opposed to being caused by faulty installation or maintenance or some other cause), then Windsor will provide an adjusted (based on the window’s age) fixed settlement amount for each Windsor window according to the tables listed below. The percentage shown reflects the reduction to account for the window’s age. This adjusted settlement amount covers all damages related to water intrusion and includes compensation for the cost of labor and materials necessary to install a replacement window, repair any damage caused during the installation of a replacement window, costs to remove and replace window coverings, and costs incurred for interior finishing work. Your claim must provide separate pictures for each window for which replacement value is sought.


    Pinnacle Casements

    Year(s) Settlement Amount
    2016-2017$424
    2014-2015$297 (70%)
    2012-2013$212 (50%)
    2010-2011$127 (30%)
    2000-2009$64 (15%)

    Pinnacle Double Hung

    Year(s) Settlement Amount
    2016-2017$362
    2014-2015$254 (70%)
    2012-2013$181 (50%)
    2010-2011$109 (30%)
    2000-2009$54 (15%)

    Legend Casement

    Year(s) Settlement Amount
    2016-2017$453
    2014-2015$317 (70%)
    2012-2013$226 (50%)
    2010-2011$136 (30%)
    2000-2009$68 (15%)

    Legend Double Hung

    Year(s) Settlement Amount
    2016-2017$363
    2014-2015$254 (70%)
    2012-2013$182 (50%)
    2010-2011$109 (30%)
    2000-2009$54 (15%)

    If your Qualifying Window with Qualifying Damage is within warranty and otherwise qualifies under the applicable warranty, you may elect to receive a replacement window of the same kind as the damaged window instead of the payment shown above. If you elect to receive a replacement window under your warranty, then you will forfeit the right to get a cash payment for any of the other damages described above that are covered by the payment amounts shown above. The replacement window would be your only remedy. Replacement windows will be delivered as provided in the applicable warranty.


    3. Compensation for Additional Damage

    “Additional Damage” is visible rotting or deterioration to walls, drywall, insulation, or other home or building materials where the damage extends perpendicularly (straight) below the sill of the window opening of a Qualifying Window. This rotting or deterioration may be evidenced by staining or discoloration, but staining or discoloration alone is not sufficient to support a claim. If you demonstrate “Additional Damage” caused by water intrusion caused by a Qualifying Window itself (rather than caused by faulty installation or maintenance or some other cause), then Windsor will pay the amount of a bona fide estimate to repair the damage up to the amounts specified below. To demonstrate Additional Damage, you must include pictures showing the damage and a bona fide estimate to repair the damage. Windsor can challenge and deny a claim for recovery based on Additional Damage if Windsor demonstrates that faulty installation, maintenance, or some other cause caused the Additional Damage.

    If Additional Damage is proven, Windsor will pay the amount of the estimate up to:

    1. $250 total to repair Additional Damage around one or two window openings; or
    2. $500 total to repair Additional Damage around three to six window openings; or
    3. $2,500 for Additional Damage that (1) extends perpendicularly (straight) below the window sill of a Qualifying Window more than eight inches at one or more window openings, or (2) extends perpendicularly (straight) below the window sill of a Qualifying Window eight inches or less at seven or more window openings.

    The maximum amount you may claim for Additional Damage is $2,500, regardless of the number of Qualifying Windows around which damage is alleged or the extent of any claimed damage. Any disputes about causation or the value of the repair(s) must be submitted to the Settlement Administrator. Windsor will have the right to submit a competing bona fide estimate.


    4. Reimbursement for Prior Repairs

    If you demonstrate that you had Qualifying Damage or Additional Damage and you incurred expenses related to replacement or repair of the Qualifying Windows, their components, and/or damage to walls, drywall, insulation or other home or building materials caused by water intrusion caused by the Qualifying Window itself, then Windsor will pay the amount of these expenses (called “Qualifying Expenses”). The maximum settlement payment for prior repairs will be the amount you could have received if repair or replacement had not already occurred and you were seeking reimbursement under this settlement as described above. To demonstrate Qualifying Expenses, you must submit the following evidence:

    1. Documentation proving that the subject windows were Qualifying Windows;
    2. A sworn, notarized statement from the contractor who performed the repair or replacement demonstrating that: (1) the repair or replacement at issue was the result of Qualifying Damage or Additional Damage; and (2) the Qualifying Damage or Additional Damage was caused by window failure rather than by faulty installation or maintenance or some other cause. Windsor may conduct an investigation, including noticing a deposition of the contractor. The deposition will be at Windsor’s expense and in the city where the contractor resides. In lieu of the contractor’s statement that Qualifying Damage or Additional Damage existed, you may provide photographic or video proof. If the contractor fails or refuses to appear for a noticed deposition, then the claim shall be denied; and
    3. Photographic or video proof demonstrating that Qualifying Damage or Additional Damage existed prior to repair or replacement; and
    4. Proof that you paid for repairs or replacement and a sworn, notarized statement that you have not been fully reimbursed for the repair or replacement by Windsor or any other source. Proof of payment can consist of a paid invoice. If Windsor has already provided some remedy other than through this Settlement for past repairs to you, you shall not be entitled to further relief for past repairs through this Settlement. If you have been partially reimbursed by an insurance company or other non-party for past repairs, Windsor will deduct the partial reimbursement from what it would have otherwise paid for past repairs.

    The settlement payment to a Claimant with an approved claim for prior repairs shall be capped at the amount the Claimant could have received if repair or replacement had not already occurred and the Claimant was seeking reimbursement under Sections VII.B or VII.C of the Settlement Agreement.

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Filing a Claim

  1. What do I need to get a payment or other benefits?

    To get benefits for which you may be eligible (see FAQ 11), you must submit a Claim Form. You can file your Claim online here. A paper Claim Form was included with the notice packet, which you may fill out and submit along with supporting documentation by mail. You can also get a paper Claim Form by:

    • Downloading the form online by clicking here;
    • By calling 1-888-530-6598 and requesting that a Claim Form be mailed to you; or
    • Writing to Windsor Windows Settlement P.O. Box 3770, Portland, OR 97208-3770.

    Your completed Claim Form, together with supporting documentation or information, must be filed on or before January 5, 2019.

    The Claim Form will ask you for detailed information about the Qualified Windows and Damages that are the basis of your Claim. You may be asked to include proof of ownership of the property in which the window(s) are installed and proof that the window is a Windsor Product and that the claimed damage did occur (which may include photographic or video proof). Some Claims may require an inspection and notarized statement from a Qualified Contractor in order to be considered valid. The Claim Form includes detailed instructions for each type of claim, including all documentation that you must provide. This Settlement website features product descriptions and photos and examples of the types of documentation that the Claim Form will ask you to provide. You should review these before filling out your Claim Form.

    Claim Forms can be filed online by clicking here. You may also submit your Claim Form together with supporting documentation or information, as applicable, via email to info@windowsettlements.com or by mail to the Settlement Administrator at:

    Windsor Windows Settlement
    P.O. Box 3770
    Portland, OR 97208-3770

    You cannot submit your Claim Form and accompanying materials by telephone.

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  2. What is the deadline for submitting a Claim Form?

    Claims will be accepted for a period of one (1) year beginning on the date that an order preliminarily approving the settlement, Notice, and Notice Plan is entered. That order was entered on January 5, 2018, so if you are mailing in your Claim Form, it must be postmarked no later than January 5, 2019. If you are filing your Claim Form online, it must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PST on January 5, 2019.

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  3. How do I file a claim?

    You may file a claim online here, or in paper form by email or U.S. Mail.

    A paper claim form is included with the notice packet. You may also get a paper claim form by:

    • Downloading the form online by clicking here;
    • Calling the Settlement Administrator toll-free at 1-888-530-6598 and requesting that a Claim Form be mailed to you;
    • Writing to Windsor Windows Settlement P.O. Box 3770, Portland, OR 97208-3770.

    All Claim Forms need to be submitted online or postmarked no later than January 5, 2019.

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  4. How will my claim be processed and paid?

    Initial Review

    The Settlement Administrator will perform an initial review of each claim for completeness. If it is determined that your claim submission is incomplete or deficient, you will be notified within twenty-one (21) days of submitting your claim and given a detailed explanation of the nature of the deficiency or deficiencies and the time you have to cure your claim. Claimants will have up to three (3) opportunities to cure any deficiencies. If you receive a notice of deficiency within one (1) week of the expiration of the Claim Period, you will have no more than fifteen (15) calendar days from the date of the notice to make any remaining attempts to cure the deficiency(ies), provided that no Claimant may receive more than one (1) such extension. Under no circumstances shall Windsor or the Claims Administrator consider any claim or attempt to cure that is submitted after the expiration of the Claim Period or any 15-day extension, if applicable. If the claim submission remains incomplete after the expiration of the Claim Period and any 15-day extension, if applicable, the portion of the claim that remains incomplete shall be denied on that basis.


    Determination of Claim

    If the Settlement Administrator decides that your Claim is complete, it will transmit your Claim Form and any supporting information or evidence to Windsor, Windsor’s counsel, and Settlement Class Counsel. Windsor will then determine whether your claim is valid and what relief, if any, may be due to you under the Settlement. Windsor may choose to arrange an inspection (at no cost to you) before deciding if your Claim is valid. If it does, you will be notified and efforts will be made to arrange an inspection that will be mutually convenient for all parties. There are very specific guidelines around any inspection that Windsor may request, which are listed in Section VI of the Settlement Agreement. Once Windsor determines whether a Claim is valid, it must then notify the Settlement Administrator and Settlement Class Counsel. Windsor’s determination will specify whether a Claim is approved in whole or in part or denied in whole or in part and will state with reasonable specificity the reasons for the determination. If your Claim is approved, you will be notified and receive your benefits. If Windsor denies your Claim in whole or in part, then this will be communicated to you by the Settlement Administrator.


    Claim Denial and Appeal Process

    If Windsor denies your claim in whole or in part, you have the right to appeal the denial to the Settlement Administrator. If your Claim is denied, the specific timelines, requirements and possible fees for an appeal will be sent to you along with the denial. That information can also be found in Section VI of the Settlement Agreement. Upon receipt of an appeal, the Settlement Administrator will send a copy of the appeal to Windsor.

    All appeals will be reviewed by the Settlement Administrator including all information originally submitted by the Claimant and any information used by Windsor to decide the claim (such as an inspection). The Settlement Administrator will then decide whether it agrees or disagrees with Windsor’s determination of the Claim, and that decision will be final.

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  5. How can I correct or supplement my existing claim?

    To correct or supplement an existing claim, please send a request and supporting documentation by mail to:

    Windsor Windows Settlement
    P.O. Box 3770
    Portland, OR 97208-3770

    Please be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and confirmation number (if you filed online), along with any existing claim information so that we may match your new information with your previously submitted claim.

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  6. What am I giving up to get a payment?

    If the settlement becomes final, Settlement Class Members who submit a claim or do nothing at all will be releasing the Defendants from all of the Released Claims described and identified in Section X of the Settlement Agreement. This means you will no longer be able to sue the Defendants regarding any of the claims described in the Settlement Agreement.

    The Settlement Agreement provides more detail regarding the release and describes the released claims with specific descriptions in necessary, accurate, legal terminology, so read it carefully. You can talk to the law firms representing the Settlement Class listed in the section “The Lawyers Representing You” for free, or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer if you have any questions about the released claims or what they mean.

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Excluding Yourself from the Settlement

  1. How do I get out of the Settlement?

    The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was April 16, 2018.

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The Lawyers Representing You

  1. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

    The Court designated Daniel K. Bryson and Matthew E. Lee of Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP as Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs and Settlement Class. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.

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  2. Why is Lead Counsel recommending the Settlement?

    Lead Counsel reached this Settlement after weighing the risks and benefits to the Settlement Class of this settlement compared with those of continuing the litigation. The factors that Class Counsel considered included the uncertainty and delay associated with continued litigation, a trial and numerous appeals, and the uncertainty of particular legal issues that have been, or are yet to be, determined by the Court. Lead Counsel balanced these and other substantial risks in determining that the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate in light of all circumstances and in the best interests of members of the Settlement Class.

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  3. How will the Lawyers be paid?

    Lead Counsel applied for and was awarded $1.3 million dollars, which will be paid by the Defendants. Named Plaintiffs will receive a payment of $3,500 per household for their effort, service, time, and expenses.

    Settlement Class Members will not be responsible for the fees and expenses of Lead Counsel, and the payment of attorneys’ fees and expenses will not reduce the benefits to Settlement Class Members.

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Objecting to the Settlement

  1. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?

    The deadline to object to the Settlement was May 7, 2018.

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The Fairness Hearing

  1. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    On July 6, 2018, the Court held a public hearing in Courtroom 390 of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, located at the U.S. Courthouse, 517 East Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202, to determine whether the Settlement Class was properly certified and whether the Settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable and should be finally approved.

    The Court approved the settlement on July 11, 2018.

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  2. Do I have to come to the hearing?

    The Fairness Hearing occurred on July 6, 2018.

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  3. What is a “Class Representative” or “Named Plaintiff,” and why does that individual receive a special award?

    A Class Representative or Named Plaintiff is an individual who represents the class. Class Counsel will request a special award for the Class Representative or Named Plaintiff because that individual works closely with Class Counsel and actively participates and invests significant time in the case. For example, a Class Representative or Named Plaintiff is an individual who is likely to be deposed in the litigation.

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If You Do Nothing

  1. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you are a Class Member and do nothing, you will not get benefits from the Settlement. And, unless you exclude yourself, you will be bound by the judgment entered by the Court. This means you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit or proceeding against the Defendants about the statements and claims at issue in this case.

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Notice Of Incomplete Claim / Defect Letter Issues

  1. I disagree with my Notice of Incomplete Claim / Defect Letter. What do I need to do?

    If you would like to submit additional documentation regarding your claim, please follow the instructions on the insert accompanying your notice. If no additional documentation is submitted, the Settlement Administrator will make a determination based upon the information on file.

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  2. I have already submitted the documentation/photos requested in the Notice of Incomplete Claim/Defect Letter. Why do I need to submit additional documentation?

    The Notice of Incomplete Claim details the information that is not on file with the Settlement Administrator. If you believe you have already submitted the documentation, then no additional action is required. If you wish to file additional documentation, please follow the instructions on the accompanying insert.

    For more information about the types of documents required, please review the Claims Form Appendix, which can be found here.

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Get More Information

  1. Who is Epiq?

    Epiq is a legal services firm hired to administer and provide information about the Windsor Windows Settlement. Epiq is a neutral third party and does not represent the Plaintiffs or the Defendants.

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  2. Can you provide me with advice or a recommendation as to how I should proceed?

    As the neutral third-party Settlement Administrator, we are unable to provide you with advice or a recommendation as to how you should proceed. We are only authorized to provide information about the Settlement.

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  3. How do I assign each claimed window a unique window number? Or, how do I correlate my photos to the claim form?

    In Section II.B of the Claim Form, please enter a name for each of the claimed windows based on their location. For example, if you are claiming one kitchen window and three living room windows, then:

    • Line 1 = Kitchen
    • Line 2 = Living Room 1
    • Line 3 = Living Room 2
    • Line 4 = Living Room 3

    Please label each window photo using the unique labeling system described above. In Section II.C of the Claim Form, “Identifying Claimed Qualifying Damage and Additional Damage for Each Window” please put the Window number from Section II.B in the designated area at the top of the page, and fill in the form with the correlating window information.

    If you are filing your claim online, the website will generate your ID's for you.

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  4. How do I get more information?

    This website is only a summary of the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. You may also contact the Settlement Administrator with questions by sending an email to info@windowsettlements.com, calling the toll-free number at 1-888-530-6598, or writing to Windsor Windows Settlement, P.O. Box 3770, Portland, OR 97208-3770.

    If you would like to communicate directly with Class Counsel and you are a homeowner, please email Pat Wallace at pat@wbmllp.com. You may also consult with your own private attorney at your expense.

    PLEASE DO NOT WRITE OR TELEPHONE THE COURT, WINDSOR WINDOWS, OR ANY WINDSOR WINDOW DEALER OR AGENT FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT.

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