What was once an avant-garde architectural development meant to restore a ruined district in the 9th District has become a legal battlefield. In early September, Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation was sued by two residents of the Lower 9th Ward who accuse the nonprofit organization of building and selling substandard housing that is deteriorating rapidly.
The two owners are precursors of a class action lawsuit on behalf of other residents who purchased the 109 experimental and efficient houses in the use of Make It Right energy. Millions of dollars are at stake. Pitt, the Hollywood leader who founded Make It Right, and other former officers of the foundation were named among the defendants in the September suit.
Brad Pitt's Make It Right group sued the post-Katrina houses he built in New Orleans
On November 20, lawyers representing Pitt filed a motion asking a judge to dismiss the claims against Pitt and remove him from the lawsuit. Pitt's lawyers argue in the court file that, although Pitt led the project after Hurricane Katrina, he can not be held personally responsible by the owners for the construction of the buildings.
In mid-September, Make It Right sued New Orleans architect John C. Williams, who oversaw the construction of modernist homes, for faulty design work that caused leaks and other defects. According to the Make It Right lawsuit, repairing damage caused by rain and moisture in homes could cost $ 20 million to Make It Right.
Read: "The architect says it was" shocking and insulting "to be sued by Make It Right."
On Pitt's motion to dismiss, his lawyers argue that even if the owners' claims against Make It Right are credible, Pitt is not to blame. Neither, they say, can he be accused of fraud. Pitt's attorneys, who filed the motion in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, could not be contacted immediately for comment.
Brad Pitt's Make It Right lawsuit has become a federal case
As of 2006, Pitt used his celebrity influence to establish the Make It Right charity that provided affordable housing adapted to displaced residents. The effort, which used plans of architectural superstar houses such as Shigeru Ban, Thom Mayne and Frank Gehry, was undoubtedly one of the most audacious post-K recovery proposals.
In 2008 the ground was opened in the first houses of Make It Right. By 2015, the development had cost more than $ 26 million and had become a popular tourist attraction after K-K. Construction was suspended in early 2016. In recent years, Make It Right has been very strict, does not answer questions from the press and carries out what residents describe as poor communication with homeowners. Pitt has not spoken publicly about Make it Right since the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in 2015.
A batch of experimental weatherproof wood allowed considerable water damage in some of the houses, residents say. The owners have complained about other problems too. The worst case came to light around the tenth anniversary of the start of construction, when an abandoned house of 7 years, Make It Right, at 5012 North Derbigny St. was demolished on June 30 at the insistence of neighbors, due to damage by rain and rotten.
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