A roof coating manufacturer in Canada has been fined $2.5 million after being found guilty of misleading customers about the effectiveness of a silicone product it advertised on its website.
A Montreal jury found the company responsible for misleading customers into thinking it was safe for use on the roofs of their homes, CBC News reported.
The company, Eco-Tex, pleaded guilty last year to misleading consumers.
In November, the jury ordered Eco-tex to pay $1.5-million in fines.
The jury also ordered Eco a Canadian Tire Corp. to pay an additional $500,000 to the company.
The court found Eco-Tex did not provide clear information on how to properly apply the product and it did not inform customers of its potential health risks.
The product was sold by Eco-Tec in Canada, and it sold in the United States as Eco-Seal.
Eco-tessentics website said the product protects against humidity, heat, and moisture.
EcoTex told CBC News the company has never received a government inspection notice or received a certificate of safety certification.
“We are pleased that we are finally being held accountable for our actions,” the company said in a statement.
The verdict was made public Thursday.
Eco‑Tec did not respond to CBC News’ request for comment.
The Montreal jury was made up of two women and two men, with the first woman sitting as an independent, and the second woman a co-defendant.
The jurors found EcoTec failed to provide accurate information about the product’s effectiveness and that the company did not take into account the risks associated with applying it.
The three jurors also found Eco‑Tex did a poor job of explaining its product to potential buyers.
In its closing arguments, EcoTex attorney Richard Dickson argued the company is a legitimate business that deserves a fine for the false advertising it caused.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the jury saw a large percentage of the product as being misleading,” he said.
“This was not the case at all.”
The jury said Ecotex failed to properly warn its customers about potential risks associated in applying the product.
“It appears that the consumers did not have an adequate understanding of the risks that they were being exposed to and of the products efficacy,” the jury wrote.
“The jury’s decision is that Ecotex misled its customers by misrepresenting the product.”
The verdict will likely have an impact on the company’s ability to sell its product in Canada and internationally.
Eco Tessentic, founded in 2013, sells a variety of roof coatings for both commercial and residential use.
The U.S. company had been selling the product in Europe and Australia.