Brad Pitt Sued for His Philanthropic Efforts After Hurricane Katrina, And the Reason Why Is Shocking
There’s nothing wrong with helping other people, especially if you have the means to do so. Stories of philanthropy usually end up going viral, especially when a famous person is involved, because there’s nothing that can make the fans happier than learning about the act of kindness from their favorite idol.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina, a category 5 catastrophe, hit the United States, proving to be the most devastating natural disaster to ever hit America. It was also one of the deadliest after claiming thousands of lives and destroying homes in its path. One of the hardest hit was New Orleans, particularly the Lower 9th Ward.
Shortly after witnessing how devastated the place was, actor Brad Pitt thought of a way to help the community rise from the rubble. Two years after the tragedy, the World War Z star founded the Make It Right foundation that aims to create affordable houses that are green and of high quality for the displaced victims of the hurricane.
The mission was promising, add to that the wonderful kick-off that was the display of 150 pink structures at the location. In the next 10 years, Make It Right had constructed more than a hundred houses in New Orleans that allegedly cost $26.8 million. A single house was reportedly worth $150,000.
According to reports, the foundation was already making repairs to the properties by 2008. In the subsequent year, residents were already complaining about moldy ceilings and walls.
One of them was Kamaria Allen who said that it caused health issues among her family. Another resident, Brittany West, said she suffered from migraines because of the mold. Kamaria, however, was later silenced with money and withdrew her complaint.
But the money paid to Kamaria wasn’t enough to stifle the housing crisis. After only a year, 24 houses were already showing signs of deterioration: the decks made of TimberSIL wood, that was supposed to last up to 40 years, were caving in. A spokesperson from Make It Right explained that despite being sturdy, the material couldn’t handle the moisture from the rain.
The crisis spiraled out of control in September last year when two residents, Jennifer Decuir and Lloyd Francis, formally filed a lawsuit against Brad and his foundation for failing to tell them about the problems with the houses.
They also alleged that the design of the houses was flawed and the structure speedily deteriorating. In turn, Make It Right then filed a case against John Williams, the architect of the project, and his firm because they didn’t satisfactorily waterproof the structures, which later on became a problem because of the New Orleans’ moisture.
In November, Brad asked to be exempted from the case because he asserted he was not personally involved in the incidences or the building of the homes.
His lawyer argued that the residents didn’t have evidence that could prove the actor was responsible for any wrongful conduct toward them.
His camp also said that the plaintiffs couldn’t say they were inflicted by emotional distress because there were no physical injuries. Sadly, Rachael Johnson, the civil district court judge, denied his request and refused to let Brad off the hook.
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