LEED Critic Files $100M Lawsuit Against USGBC

In a complaint on behalf of 'consumers, taxpayers, building design and construction professionals,' Henry Gifford alleges the USGBC has falsely claimed its ratings system leads to energy savings.

1 minute read

October 21, 2010, 6:00 AM PDT

By Lynn Vande Stouwe


The class action suit asserts that the United States Green Building Council's intentional, fraudulent actions have harmed both building owners, who pay to have their buildings certified, and building and design professionals, who pay to receive LEED credentials. Environmental Leader says Gifford, the owner of Gifford Fuel Saving, is a longtime vocal critic of the LEED system.

However, attorney and LEED Accredited Professional Shari Shapiro questions whether Gifford has legal grounds to bring suit, according to Environmental Leader:

"[Shapiro] says as 'a general proposition, taxpayers do not have standing to sue,' and 'there is a commonality problem and a causation problem for the class–did the USGBC's false statements cause the same type of harm to the same type of plaintiff. Indeed, did the false statements cause any harm at all to these plaintiffs.'"

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