Brad Pitt, 58, and his Make It Right Foundation have reached a settlement after being sued for building irregular homes. The fact occurred after the passage of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, in the United States, in 2005. After four years of legal dispute, the actor closed the lawsuit in the amount of US$ 20.5 million, equivalent to R$ 106, 1 million at the current price, with the victims of the tragedy.
According to People magazine, Global Green, a non-profit environmental organization, has agreed to pay the full amount to fund the program and correct defects in the construction of the houses, which has yet to be approved by a judge.
However, according to The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate, the value of the settlement for each of the 107 owners could be as much as $25,000, as a refund for repairs.
In a statement, the actor spoke about the legal dispute. “I am incredibly grateful for Global Green’s willingness to step up and provide this important support to the Lower Ninth families,” he began.
“We collaborated in the early days post-Katrina and are very fortunate to have Global Green’s ongoing generous commitment to help address the challenges around these homes and others in need,” said Brad.
“We hope this agreement allows everyone to see other opportunities to continue to strengthen this proud community in the future,” he added.
The residents of the houses built by the foundation sued the Hollywood star and his associates for faulty construction, inadequate conditions, breach of contract and fraud.
In a statement provided to People magazine at the time, the foundation said it had filed a lawsuit against former executive architect John Williams and his firm for monetary damages to repair damaged homes in New Orleans. “Make It Right continues to work proactively with the owners of the Lower 9th Ward, and we will have no further comment on the case at this time,” the company said at that time.
The Oscar winner even went to court to have his name removed from the case, arguing that he had no personal involvement, but it was not granted by the judge, in November 2018. “Brad was a co-founder, but he was not on the board for years,” a source told Page Six.
A source told People at the time of filing that “Brad has confidence in the Make It Right team.” According to the source, he made a promise to the people of the Lower Ninth and intends to keep fulfilling it and contributing money. “Just like he’s been all this time,” he stated.
He was billed as the face of the foundation, helping to raise funds for the construction of the houses, which were later sold for around US$150,000 each. “They believed in Brad. They believed in the dream he sold. Sadly, what they got is a bunch of broken promises, living in rotten houses that were supposed to be torn down and started over,” Ron Austin, attorney for the class action, told the Newsnation.