Plywood grading lawsuit hits Peachtree City company

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A federal lawsuit filed Sept. 5 in Florida by the U.S. Structural Plywood Integrity Coalition against Peachtree City-based Timber Products Inspection, Inc. (TP) claims that TP issued questionable compliance certificates for plywood in Brazil. The company flatly denied the claim.

In a suit filed in the Southern District of Florida, U.S. Structural Plywood Integrity Coalition charged both Timber Products Inspection Inc. (TP) and PFS TECO of issuing PS 1-09 compliance certificates authorizing 35 plants in southern Brazil to stamp structural plywood panels as meeting the structural grade requirements when, according to the coalition, they may not. Also named in the suit is International Accreditation Service Inc., the accrediting agency of both companies, according to woodworkingnetwork.com

Timber Products Inspection President Jay Moore responded with a lengthy comment.

“For more than 50 years, Timber Products Inspection, Inc. (TP) has built a reputation for reliability, accuracy, and integrity in all our work, growing into one of the world’s largest wood products accrediting agencies. In that time, TP has set the highest standards for the objective evaluation of a variety of wood products,” Moore said.

“Last week, we were surprised by a lawsuit alleging our company and others have inconsistently applied the PS 1-09 standard to Brazilian plywood. The allegations in the lawsuit are absolutely false. We have extreme confidence in our processes. Our confidence is anchored by our standalone, accredited testing facility in Georgia where all client products – including Brazilian plywood – are tested to ensure they meet a variety of regulatory standards. Despite the claims of the plaintiffs, our experience and testing indicate that Brazilian plywood meets all objective industry and regulatory standards outlined by the PS 1-09 standard.

“Clients in Brazil and elsewhere who do not consistently meet the applicable industry standard do not remain as TP clients. A third party established the standard for the plywood program to ensure consistency, and our role is to inspect and audit our clients against the standard requirements. We do this through a rigorous and established qualification process, routine in-plant inspections, and periodic quality checks. These established processes, procedures, and results are reviewed by two outside, independent accreditation bodies on at least yearly intervals.

“It is also important to note that there is a clearly defined resolution process for these types of disputes. TP would welcome the opportunity to subject any of our clients’ plywood, including Brazilian plywood, to the outlined resolution process. In 50 years of service, TP has never been accused of such negligence and we stand by our team, our clients, and our processes. We intend to vigorously defend our reputation in court – and as necessary, in public – in the months ahead.”