The AZEK Company Announces Innovative New Building Products from TimberTech® Including The Landmark Collection™

first_img Twitter Twitter WhatsApp Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp The AZEK Company Announces Innovative New Building Products from TimberTech® Including The Landmark Collection™ By Digital AIM Web Support – February 9, 2021 center_img TAGS  Facebook CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb 9, 2021– The AZEK Company (NYSE: AZEK), an industry-leading manufacturer of low-maintenance and sustainable residential and commercial building products, today announced innovative new products from its TimberTech brand, a leader in premium decking and railing. Available this spring, the products include the TimberTech ® AZEK ® Landmark Collection™ and new railing options. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210209006212/en/ The AZEK Company, an industry-leading manufacturer of low-maintenance and sustainable residential and commercial building products, announces innovative new products from its TimberTech brand, a leader in premium decking and railing, including the TimberTech® AZEK® Landmark Collection™. The all-new Landmark Collection is the latest extension of the premium TimberTech AZEK capped polymer decking line and uses advanced technology to create the most natural wood look yet, bringing on-trend interior flooring design to outdoor decking. (Photo: Business Wire) New TimberTech AZEK Decking – The Landmark Collection The all-new Landmark Collection is the latest extension of the premium TimberTech AZEK capped polymer decking line and uses advanced technology to create the most natural wood look yet, bringing on-trend interior flooring design to outdoor decking. Inspired by the in-demand look of rustic, reclaimed wood, the Landmark Collection features a natural woodgrain surface texture, complemented by unique crosscuts. Available in two new colors, Castle Gate™ and American Walnut™, the collection marks the first time TimberTech has applied its proprietary color-cascading technology to capped polymer boards, which blends several colors to produce sophisticated highlights and lowlights, resulting in the same board-to-board variation found in nature. “Our relentless dedication to superior technology enables homeowners to go against the grain when it comes to creating their outdoor living spaces,” said Jesse Singh, CEO of The AZEK Company. “The new TimberTech AZEK Landmark Collection is the latest example of how we’re challenging the status quo. The combination of a unique design and cascading colors creates a stunning, nature-inspired visual that’s never been seen in the industry.” Engineered with the same materials science as all TimberTech AZEK boards, the Landmark Collection is made from 100 percent synthetic material unlike traditional composite decking, which uses wood particles. The result is low-maintenance decking that stays cooler and offers unrivaled resistance to moisture, fading, scratching and staining. All TimberTech AZEK products are backed by an industry-leading limited lifetime warranty and a 50-year limited fade and stain warranty. Consistent with AZEK’s commitment to revolutionize outdoor living by building a more sustainable future, the capped polymer deck boards are made from approximately 50 percent recycled materials. New TimberTech Railing Options The AZEK Company will also introduce several new products, as well as enhancements, to existing TimberTech railing lines, which complement the brand’s high-performance decking. New top-rail options for TimberTech ® Impression Rail Express ®, a pre-assembled aluminum railing system, include the Modern rail, which boasts a sleek and angular profile, and the Drink rail, which features a deck board on top of the railing that allows users to coordinate their decking with their railing. Additionally, TimberTech ® RadianceRail Express ® will add an aluminum baluster infill option to the long-lasting traditional railing line. For more information on The AZEK Company and its full line of products, visit azekco.com. For more information about TimberTech, visit TimberTech.com. The AZEK Company The AZEK Company Inc. is an industry-leading designer and manufacturer of beautiful, low-maintenance residential and commercial building products and is committed to innovation, sustainability, and research & development. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the company operates manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. For additional information, please visit azekco.com. Source: The AZEK Company, Inc. View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210209006212/en/ CONTACT: Media Contact: John Arango 847-754-1325 [email protected] KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA ILLINOIS INDUSTRY KEYWORD: ARCHITECTURE OTHER CONSTRUCTION & PROPERTY RESIDENTIAL BUILDING & REAL ESTATE COMMERCIAL BUILDING & REAL ESTATE CONSTRUCTION & PROPERTY RETAIL CHEMICALS/PLASTICS BUILDING SYSTEMS LANDSCAPE MANUFACTURING HOME GOODS INTERIOR DESIGN SOURCE: The AZEK Company, Inc. Copyright Business Wire 2021. PUB: 02/09/2021 04:24 PM/DISC: 02/09/2021 04:24 PM http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210209006212/en Local NewsBusiness Pinterest Previous articleUniversal Electronics Inc. Introduces QuickSet® Widget for the Connected HomeNext articleWilson relishes honor, but football concerns remain in focus Digital AIM Web Supportlast_img read more

Scoreboard roundup — 2/11/20

first_imgFebruary 12, 2020 /Sports News – National Scoreboard roundup — 2/11/20 Written by Beau Lundcenter_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailiStock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Tuesday’s sports events:NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATIONWashington 126, Chicago 114Philadelphia 110, L.A. Clippers 103New Orleans 138, Portland 117San Antonio 114, Oklahoma City 106Houston 116, Boston 105NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUEBuffalo 3, Detroit 2NY Islanders 5, Philadelphia 3Florida 5, New Jersey 3Tampa Bay 2, Pittsburgh 1 — OTToronto 3, Arizona 2 — OTMinnesota 4, Vegas 0NY Rangers 4, Winnipeg 1Dallas 4, Carolina 1Colorado 3, Ottawa 0Edmonton 5, Chicago 3St. Louis 1, Anaheim 1 — game postponedTOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALLDayton 81, Rhode Island 67Maryland 72, Nebraska 70Kentucky 78, Vanderbilt 64Penn St. 88, Purdue 76Michigan St. 70, Illinois 69LSU 82, Missouri 78San Diego St. 82, New Mexico 59Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Biostatistics honors Begg

first_imgThe Harvard School of Public Health’s (HSPH) Department of Biostatistics announced that Melissa D. Begg will be the first recipient of the newly established Lagakos Distinguished Alumni Award. Begg will deliver a lecture and be presented with the inaugural award on Sept. 28, preceding the kickoff of the 2012 HSPH Alumni Weekend.The Lagakos award honors the career of Professor Stephen Lagakos by recognizing department alumni whose research in statistical theory and application, leadership in biomedical research, and commitment to teaching have had a major impact on the theory and practice of statistical science.Begg graduated from the Department of Biostatistics in 1989, and she currently serves as professor of clinical biostatistics and as vice dean of education at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. The award recognizes Begg’s accomplishments in education, scientific collaboration, and statistical methodology, as well as her leadership role in academic administration.Read more.last_img read more

Trump rejects Dems’ request to testify at impeachment trial

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump is rejecting a request by House Democrats to testify under oath for his Senate impeachment trial. Democrats are challenging the former president to explain why he and his lawyers have disputed key factual allegations related to their charge that he incited a violent mob to storm the Capitol. Trump adviser Jason Miller responded Thursday that “the president will not testify in an unconstitutional proceeding.” Trump’s lawyers dismissed the request as a “public relations stunt.” The request from House impeachment managers doesn’t require Trump to appear, but it does warn that any refusal to testify could be used at trial to support arguments for a conviction.last_img

Professor to research personality disorders

first_imgPsychology Professor Lee Anna Clark was recently awarded a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. The funds will go toward a five-year study to change the way personality disorders are diagnosed. Clark said the project is looking to bridge the gap between personality order identification and designation. “The bottom line for the grant is to gather information that might allow us to build a better system,” Clark said. “There is a mismatch between the way personality disorders are diagnosed and the way they are defined and we want to see if we can bring those into better alignment.” The current diagnostic system uses a certain set of criteria for each personality disorder, Clark said. “It’s proven to be a pretty good measure of personality traits in abnormal range,” she said. “But it’s not perfect and we need to figure out what other traits are necessary.” Clark said the core dysfunction of a personality disorder is an impairment in a person’s sense of self and their ability to relate to other people. “Our personalities are designed to help us function in the world,” she said. “When that personality system doesn’t develop or function properly, that’s a personality disorder.” Clark said one of the main goals of the study is to determine a complete, comprehensive set of personality traits to be used in diagnosing personality disorders. “We want to understand more about the notion of personality functioning, which is a relatively new concept,” she said. “We want to see how we can better measure that coherent sense of self.” Clark said the first two phases of the study involve conducting interviews and gathering data from patients at the Oaklawn Psychiatric Center, a local nonprofit mental health agency. The second phase of the study will take three years, Clark said. “We’ll interview a total of 600 participants and also talk to others who know them well,” she said. “The belief about people with personality disorders is that they don’t have good insight into their own personalities, so they need to get another perspective.” The third and final stage of the study will test the system developed based on the information gathered from the previous two phases, Clark said. “We ultimately want to be able to assess and diagnosis personality disorders using the traits that define them,” she said.last_img read more

Arsenal legend Kanu claims Premier League sides are ‘already afraid’ of Nicolas Pepe

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Tom OlverThursday 12 Sep 2019 9:12 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link3.9kShares Kanu has been impressed with Arsenal summer signing Nicolas Pepe (Picture: Getty)Arsenal legend Kanu believes opposition teams are ‘already afraid’ of summer signing Nicolas Pepe.Pepe joined the Gunners in a club-record £72million deal from Lille last month and the 24-year-old forward has gone on to make four appearances in the Premier League.The Ivorian has been thrown right in at the deep end, making his full debut in Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat away at Liverpool before playing alongside Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Unai Emery’s side drew 2-2 with north London rivals Tottenham.While Pepe is yet to find the net for his new club, he has impressed former Arsenal striker Kanu with his promising early showings in the English top flight this season.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘He’s a good player,’ Kanu told Goal.‘He’s got fast feet and I think he can unlock teams. He can score and he can assist.‘The league here is totally different from every other league so it takes time for somebody coming in to perform the way they have for their other clubs but I think he will do well for us because now he is getting more game time and I believe he will complement the other two strikers. Commentcenter_img Arsenal legend Kanu claims Premier League sides are ‘already afraid’ of Nicolas Pepe Pepe is yet to open his account for the Gunners (Picture: Getty)‘If you watch him you can see he is a really good footballer and his feet are very quick. He is going to score goals and he is going to play well.‘I believe that teams are already afraid of him after a few games.‘They are scared of what he can do and what he can offer. He’s a very good addition.’ Kanu wants Arsenal fans to be patient with the Ivory Coast international (Picture: Getty)Kanu has urged supporters to be patient with Pepe as the attacker adapts to playing in a new system under Emery.‘As a striker you want to create chances,’ Kanu added.‘If you keep missing them it doesn’t matter. The most important thing is to keep creating the chances because the goals will definitely come.More: FootballBruno Fernandes responds to Man Utd bust-up rumours with Ole Gunnar SolskjaerNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira moves‘People have to understand that he has come from a different country, everything is new. He has new team-mates and the coach will definitely want him to play different. All this counts.‘But a good footballer is always a good footballer. He will get much better and he will score goals for us. He brings us something different to the other two strikers.‘I want to just tell him to keep doing what he is doing.’MORE: Per Mertesacker admits he was ‘p*****’ with Mesut Ozil for ‘days and weeks’ at Arsenallast_img read more

Local authority fund shifts £500m into low-carbon index tracker

first_img“As a committee we recognise the risk that climate change poses to society in general as well as to the viability of pension funds like our own. But we also have to make sure that the return on our investments is enough to provide suitable pensions for our pensioners in the years to come. “As a very long-term investor we also need to ensure the money we manage and invest on behalf of our members balances the need for a sufficient investment return while at the same time reducing our exposure to carbon and fossil fuel-producing firms as we make the transition to a low-carbon economy.” Swansea wants to reduce its exposure to fossil fuels by 50% by 2022The Swansea pension fund commissioned a review of its equity portfolio last year to analyse its exposure to carbon-producing investments and fossil fuel-related companies.While this showed the portfolio’s exposure to such investments was 9% below the pension industry average, Lloyd said the committee had been looking to reduce this exposure by “up to 50%” by 2022.The scheme said it was also actively seeking investment opportunities in “energy-efficient infrastructure projects and clean tech in other parts of its portfolio, always seeking to optimise its return while having a positive environmental impact”.LGPS funds have taken various actions in recent months to address the impact of climate change on their portfolios, including exiting fossil fuel investments, backing renewable energy projects, and signing up to international declarations and campaigns. The local authority pension fund for Swansea Council is to shift almost a quarter of its investment portfolio into low-carbon investment funds in a bid to cut its carbon footprint.The £2.1bn (€2.3bn) scheme has announced plans to invest roughly £500m into a low-carbon index tracking fund, run by BlackRock.The investment is being made via the Wales Pension Partnership, the pooling vehicle for the assets of eight Welsh Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) funds.Clive Lloyd, deputy leader of Swansea Council and chair of the scheme’s committee, said: “Like many other pension funds, we think carefully about how the investments we manage for thousands of existing contributors and pensioners are able to maximise the required returns, while also being mindful of our responsibilities to the environment and future generations…last_img read more

Could a Grenfell Tower Fire Happen Here?

first_imgBrian Meacham is an associate professor of fire protection engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. This post originally appeared at The Conversation. RulesThose expectations about how structures will function in a fire inform the rules people make about how to protect occupants of a burning building. In most countries, including the U.S., the rules governing how buildings are constructed are enforced when a new structure is going up.As we learn more over time about how to keep people safer, building codes change — but they usually apply just to new structures, not existing ones. The new codes can kick in if there’s a major renovation or expansion project or the building’s main use changes from, say, offices to apartments. That means many buildings aren’t up to modern standards.In addition, it takes time from when a model building code is published, to when it becomes adopted into legislation. As such, even a building constructed in 1997, if it hadn’t been significantly renovated, may not have to comply with new provisions introduced in the 20 years since.There are some exceptions. Many parts of the U.S. required building owners to install automatic sprinkler systems in existing high-rise buildings in the wake of the 1980 MGM Grand Hotel fire in Las Vegas. A similar requirement in the U.K. didn’t take effect until 2007; existing buildings are not covered unless a specific risk assessment recommends otherwise. CultureThat lone stairway — and the fact that building occupants were reportedly told to remain in their apartments in case of fire — are the result of fire safety culture influencing emergency planning. In England and around the world, including the U.S., the historical approach has been to rely significantly on the fire resistance of the structure itself to contain the fire. We call this “passive” fire protection, and it largely involves using non-combustible materials to separate areas, limiting how far a fire can spread.This concept has been used at least since the 1666 Great Fire of London, as a way to prevent city-wide conflagrations from developing when a blaze burning in one building catches the structure next door. The same principle is used within buildings, for example by requiring fire-resistant construction among apartments or offices on each floor, as well as between floors.However, the concept only works when the initial fire is contained. That didn’t happen at Grenfell Tower. Once the fire reached the external cladding, it spread rapidly. If the building’s residents had their windows open for ventilation, the fire could have spread even faster: The heat just outside could have ignited drapes or other items near the windows.With multiple fires burning simultaneously in different apartments on several floors, the situation would have been grim. There were no sprinklers to quench the flames. And the only stairway down for the building’s occupants was also the only stairway up for firefighters coming to the rescue.This situation was very similar to the confluence of problems in the 2001 World Trade Center disaster, when multiple fires burned across several floors simultaneously, the automatic sprinkler system was damaged, and some exit stairways were blocked. Occupants of the Twin Towers buildings and Grenfell Tower who were above the fires had few options — because they were not expected to need them. The regular fire safety plans didn’t call for immediate evacuation, because the building’s construction was supposed to keep a large fire from happening. Officials Investigate Role of Cladding in London Tower FireQ&A: Exterior Foam and Fires Why Don’t Green Buildings Live Up to Hype on Energy Efficiency? The Grenfell Tower fire in London has triggered questions about how the tragedy could have happened, whether it could happen elsewhere, and what might be learned from it to prevent future disasters. As a professor of fire protection engineering, I know that the answers are not simple, and the fixes not quick.Investigations into what actually happened at Grenfell Tower are still ongoing. While some factors have been identified, completing the picture could take years. As details emerge, though, it may not be easy to translate them to other situations. Buildings differ widely, based on when each was constructed and any renovations or other modifications since. And then there are the different rules, design concepts and construction practices that vary from country to country, and, in the U.S., sometimes from state to state.The basic problem, however, is clear: The Grenfell Tower fire spread much faster and more intensely than anyone expected. From what we know so far, there are physical, cultural and legal reasons dozens, and possibly hundreds, of people died. Addressing each of them will help British authorities, and fire protection and fire prevention professionals around the world, improve their efforts to reduce the chance of future tragedies like the one at Grenfell Tower. StructureIt appears that the main problem was the dangerously flammable cladding, the material covering the outside of the building — aluminum panels with foam insulation installed in a recent effort to improve the building’s energy efficiency. Once the fire escaped the apartment where it began, reportedly in a refrigerator, and ignited the cladding, the rest of the building was primed to burn quickly. Could it happen here?There have been many exterior-cladding fires in high-rise buildings around the world, including in Australia, the Middle East and here in the U.S. In September 2007, the Water Club tower at the Borgata Casino hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, caught fire. The building was under construction at the time, so it was largely unoccupied. And there was a concrete wall separating the burning cladding from the rest of the building.In the U.S., most fire codes limit the use of combustible exterior cladding material, particularly on high-rise buildings. The requirements for automatic sprinklers (one element of what we call “active” fire protection systems) and at least two escape routes from every floor add depth to these defenses. Together, these rules increase the chance that a small fire will be put out quickly, reduce its ability to spread up the side of the building, and help people get out if they need to.Several other Grenfell Tower-like buildings have already been identified in the U.K. These high-rises have combustible cladding or insulation, either permitted at the time of construction or perhaps added during a retrofit. Some of those buildings may not have sprinklers, either. The thousands of residents of those buildings have already been evacuated to prevent a repeat disaster.But at least in the U.S., most will have both sprinklers and multiple escape routes. So while another tragic event like the Grenfell Tower fire is possible, we can hope that building owners and fire protection experts alike will learn from this disaster and work even harder to prevent it from happening again. Additional insulation underneath that cladding may have released poisonous fumes as it burned, overcoming residents who might otherwise have escaped the flames.In addition, the building lacked an automatic fire-sprinkler system, and had only a single stairway to get out. RELATED ARTICLES last_img read more

Nova Scotia LGBT groups turn up heat on church over antigay speakers

first_imgA church group is being pressured to cancel two speakers at a conference in Pugwash, N.S., next month, amid concerns they promote a homophobic message to young people.The event at Camp Pugwash, a venue owned by the Maritime Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, is scheduled to run from July 20 to 28, in a week-long conference open to families.Michael Carducci and Danielle Harrison are invited as “youth speakers” at the event. They are leaders of Coming Out Ministries, an Ohio-based Christian group led by “redeemed souls” who tell their personal stories about being “freed from the chains of homosexuality” to follow God.Two Halifax LGBTQ groups — Pride Halifax and the Youth Project — have co-authored a petition asking the church to rescind the invitation, expressing concern that the speakers’ message promotes techniques similar to conversion therapy, the practice of trying to change people’s sexual orientation.“Exposing young people to these messages is extremely problematic and they have no place in modern discourse,” said Adam Reid, executive director of Pride Halifax, who said community members will discuss next steps at a meeting this week.“We want to make sure the organizers of this conference are well aware of the risk and rescind this invite to visitors from the United States.”Reid said his organization decided to make the petition public after first reaching out to the church and receiving no indication that the event would be cancelled.The Maritime Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church did not respond to requests for comment from The Canadian Press. Stan Jensen, the Canadian media representative for the church, said in an e-mail last Thursday that he was not aware of any plans to cancel “as of yet.”The Halifax Seventh-day Adventist Church said over Facebook messenger that the church does not promote conversion therapy and said the church is “making this a matter of prayer.”The message also said the accusations of conversion therapy practices against Coming Out Ministries speakers have been “disproven many times.”The Canadian Psychological Association, which condemns conversion therapy, defines it as “any formal therapeutic attempt to change the sexual orientation of bisexual, gay and lesbian individuals to heterosexual,” using methods including “prayer or religious rites, modification of behaviours, and individual or group counselling.”Coming Out Ministries does not claim to offer the therapy — the group’s work is self-described as sharing personal testimonials about the spiritual benefits of leaving behind a person’s homosexual identity.Coming Out Ministries’ website describes the group as led by “four redeemed souls [who] have been plucked from the burning and have joined in a united front to provide education, hope and personal stories of God’s redemptive process.”Carducci and Harrison share their stories about living an openly gay life, before saying they left it behind after hearing Jesus’ teachings. Their speaking engagements and videos are meant to share their stories, so audiences have the opportunity to “[realize] how God’s generous healing for the sexually impure is parallel to the healing process of all sin.”The group also writes that heterosexuality “is not the only plan for His precious children, but is the only one He condones regarding sexual intimacy.”Reid said the suggestion that homosexuality and homosexual acts are impure and unwelcome in the church will have the same negative impact on youth, regardless of whether conversion therapy is used.“They’re not perhaps actually encouraging people to go through a conversation therapy process, the end goal is still the same-to try to get people to deny their sexual and gender identity, which is we know deeply, deeply harmful.”In an interview with The Canadian Press, Reid said that as conversion therapy becomes more widely rejected — the City of Vancouver recently introduced a bylaw banning the practice — people who condone the practice are becoming more cautious with their wording.“At this point they’re dancing around the issue. They’re saying the things that people who support, or might condone these sorts of messages, cling to and will further support. So, they’re just getting a little bit clever with the language used,” said Reid.Earlier this month, a New Brunswick retreat featuring speakers who promoted “healing” for the “relationally and sexually broken” was cancelled.Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International, a support group for “current or former Adventists who identify as LGBTIQ,” published a statement calling on the Maritime conference to rescind the invitation.“SDA Kinship believes that by promoting these voices as representative of the entire experience within the LGBTIQ community, even though they do not currently identify as such, the church is elevating stories that portray all LGBTIQ people as damaged, sex addicts, drug and alcohol abusers, unfaithful in relationships, and utterly lost if they do not follow the same path of these self-identified ‘redeemed’ individuals. This is not only unfortunate; it is dangerous,” the statement said.A change.org petition was started last week by a person who says the Maritime Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has invited Coming Out Ministries to Atlantic Canada before.Matt DeMerchant wrote that Coming Out Ministries visited Sandy Lake Academy, a Bedford, N.S., school affiliated with the Maritime conference, while he was a student.“I became deeply depressed after hearing their message, and even had suicidal thoughts. I was pushed further and further from God and from His church. Their message is dangerous. I have since found peace within myself. I have found God and will never stop worshiping Him, but I still lead a homosexual lifestyle,” DeMerchant wrote.“This is a direct attack on those of us who wish to continue our faith in God and feel safe in our churches.”DeMerchant could not be reached for comment, and Sandy Lake Academy administrators also did not respond to interview requests.Reid said his organization plans to continue calling for cancellation.“Obviously first we’d like to see them cancel, rescind the invite,” said Reid. “Then, you know, it would obviously be nice for them to then make some kind of comment saying this is problematic and we’re going to do some internal review to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”last_img read more

CN facing allegations it engaged in criminal conduct and fired employee over

first_imgBy Jorge Barrera and Kenneth Jackson APTN National NewsCanadian National Railway was allegedly “engaged in criminal conduct by defrauding shareholders” and U.S. “federal regulators” by “manipulating” data to boost its efficiency and, by extension, its share price, according to a whistleblower complaint filed in U.S. federal court.The complaint also alleges that CN has an unwritten policy of “retaliating against whistleblowers” and that the alleged criminal conduct was endorsed by a senior official in CN’s head office to keep the company’s share prices high.The case was filed in early August with the U.S. federal court’s Western District of Tennessee by a former trainmaster employed by wholly-owned subsidiaries of CN, Wisconsin Central and Illinois Central Railroad. CN consolidates the financial statements of both rail firms within its own financial statements.Timothy Wallender alleges that he was fired in September 2012 by CN for blowing the whistle on “widespread fraud” committed by the century-old Canadian railway company.Wallender alleges that the fraud was committed under the direction of CN’s former executive vice-president and chief operating officer Keith Creel, who is now with Canadian Pacific, according to the complaint filed with the U.S. court.None of the allegations have yet been proven in court.CN said it would not comment on the individual allegations.“As this is a pending litigation matter and particularly as CN has not been served with the federal court complaint, CN has no comment at this time. Please note that Keith Creel is no longer a CN employee. He is president and chief operating officer at Canadian Pacific Railway,” said CN spokesperson Mark Hallman.A spokesperson for CP said the company would not be commenting on the court action.“As this is a matter currently before the courts, CP has no comment at this time,” said Ed Greenberg in an emailed statement.Creel, who joined CP in February 2013 and is its president and chief operating officer, has been issued a summons, along with Andrew Martin, the general superintendent of the Harrison Yard in Memphis, Tenn., Wisconsin Central and Illinois Central Railroad.“The litigation is just starting, and I don’t expect to hear anything until they get served,” said one of Wallender’s lawyers Eugene Laurenzi, who is with Memphis-based law firm Godwin Morris Laurenzi and Bloomfield.Wallender’s allegations centre around the alleged manipulation of the “terminal dwell time” of rail cars in the Harrison Yard. Terminal dwell time is based on the amount of time a rail car spends in the yard before it’s hooked into another train for transport. The times are key indicators to a rail company’s performance and impact its share price, according to Laurenzi.CN claimed in Oct 2012 that it has “a 20 to 25 per cent advantage relative to its peers, in terms of train speed and dwell time,” according to Wallender’s complaint which quotes from the Brokerage Research Digest.CN’s CEO Claude Mongeau said in the company’s 2011 report to shareholders that “we work hard to run more efficient trains, reduce dwell time at our terminals and improve overall work velocity,” the complaint states.CN outperforms six other major railroads in North American on dwell times, according to online data tracked by Railroad Performance Measures. CN’s times are based on nine of its yards, including the Memphis yard, five yards in Canada and three other yards in the U.S.“Canadian National’s supposedly favorable statistics on terminal dwell at Harrison Yard are based on persistent and pervasive fraud,” according to Wallender’s complaint.Wallender claims Martin, his supervisor, ordered employees to change the program on CN’s computers to automatically show trains departing 30 minutes earlier than they actually left, create records showing lower than actual dwell times in the yard, falsely list trains as having left the yard while they sat on the tracks, and report non-defective cars as defective, among other orders.“By using this scheme, Canadian national was able to create records that falsely showed lower than actual dwell time for Hunter yard,” the complaint said.Wallender also claims Martin ordered CN employees to not report derailments and collisions to the Federal Railroad Administration.Despite complaints against Martin and two investigations by CN’s human resources department, the supervisor was never fired, the complaint alleged.Wallender claims that Martin “told employees at the Harrison Yard that he had a green light and carte blanche from Creel to implement his schemes for using false records to show lower than actual dwell time” at the yard.“Creel protected Martin from being fired so his share-based compensation would not be impaired,” according to the complaint. “A significant part of Creel’s compensation depended on his ability to inflate the price of Canadian National’s shares.”In 2011, Creel had a salary of $558,842, a restricted stock award of $872,583, stock option awards of $676,706, a non-equity incentive plan compensation of $713,947 and, as of the same year, unexercised options for 43,250 CN shares.Despite his complaints Wallender was fired on Sept. 30, 2012, for listing “a train as having arrived before it was physically present.”Wallender, however, believes he was fired as a result of CN’s “unwritten anti-whistleblower policy” because he tried to complain about “mail, wire and securities fraud” along with “violations of SEC rules on regulations and violations of federal laws relating to fraud against shareholders.”Wallender is seeking reinstatement at the same level, back pay with interest, general and special damages and reimbursement for litigation [email protected]@[email protected]@afixedaddressThe court documentDownload (PDF, Unknown)last_img read more