Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against U.S. Green Building Council

Court also bars plaintiffs from filing a new suit based on false advertising claims

WASHINGTON—The United States District Court in New York City has dismissed in its entirety a lawsuit brought against the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) by Henry Gifford and others, holding that none of the plaintiffs in the action had alleged or could allege any legal interest to be protected by their lawsuit.

Earlier this year, the USGBC and its founders were named as defendants in a class action lawsuit filed in federal court on behalf of Gifford, a mechanical systems designer and owner of Gifford Fuel Saving. The suit claimed that USGBC is fraudulently misleading consumers and misrepresenting the energy performance of buildings certified under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating systems. The suit went on to claim that LEED is harming the environment by leading consumers away from using proven energy-saving strategies.

The Court dismissed the federal false advertising claims “with prejudice,” meaning that the Court’s dismissal of those claims is final and that plaintiffs are barred from filing a new suit based on those claims. The Court’s ruling simultaneously dismissed plaintiffs’ state law false advertising claims.

“This successful outcome is a testament to our process and to our commitment to do what is right,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “Thousands of people around the world use LEED because it’s a proven tool for achieving our mission of transforming the built environment. We’re grateful that the Court found in our favor so we can give our full attention to the important work before us.”