Court Dismisses False Advertising Claim Against USGBC

Sonja C. Rice

Earlier this month, a Federal district court issued a ruling in a lawsuit that has been closely watched by those in the fields of energy efficiency and green construction: Gifford v. U.S. Green Building Council. In 2010, Henry Gifford, an environmental engineering consultant, filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) had violated Federal and state law for fraudulently representing the performance of LEED-certified buildings and for engaging in unfair competition by seeking a monopoly on the green building market. In February 2011, Gifford revised his complaint, dropping the class and narrowing his claims, alleging only that the USGBC had violated Federal and state law prohibiting false advertising and consumer fraud.