NEW ORLEANS — A judge has denied actor Brad Pitt’s request to be taken off a lawsuit that says his Make it Right Foundation built shabby homes in the New Orleans area that was hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina.
Pitt and other foundation directors asked the court to remove them from the lawsuit, saying they weren’t personally responsible for the construction.
Judge Rachael Johnson denied the request last week.
Two homeowners filed the suit. Their attorney, Ron Austin, says the homes built by the foundation in the Lower Ninth Ward have infrastructural issues and residents have reported being sick.
The allegations: Brad Pitt’s foundation is accused of building shoddy homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina
Austin says Pitt and the board of the foundation, which Pitt formed in 2007 after raising $42 million, have known about the problems since at least 2009 but have failed to fix them despite mounting complaints.
“We want to make Brad Pitt make it right,” Austin told USA TODAY. “He can’t leave these people helpless.”
Austin said the “tragedy” is that Pitt’s effort to help the flooded Lower Ninth after Katrina showed his “heart was in the right place” but his foundation has been “almost an epic failure.”
More than 100 green Make It Right houses were built in 2008. The foundation sued the principal architect last year saying his designs were defective.
Pitt’s rep declined to comment to USA TODAY on the recent development.