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Welcome to the Urethane Antitrust Litigation (Polyether Polyol Cases) Website

Last Updated: July 9, 2015

Latest Update:

In February 2013, a jury found that The Dow Chemical Company and other major urethane chemical manufacturers engaged in an unlawful price-fixing conspiracy.  The jury awarded damages to the Plaintiff Class, and the Court entered judgment against Dow in the amount of $1,060,847,117.00. In September 2014, the Court of Appeals rejected Dow’s challenges to the verdict. In March 2015, Dow asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. The Supreme Court is expected to decide in late 2015 or early 2016 whether to hear Dow’s appeal. For additional details, see below.

What Is This Litigation About and What Is Its Status?

In November 2004, Plaintiffs Seegott Holdings, Inc., Industrial Polymers, Inc. and Quabaug Corporation (“Representative Plaintiffs”) filed suit against the following Defendants:  Bayer AG, Bayer Corporation, Bayer MaterialScience AG, and Bayer MaterialScience LLC (collectively, the “Bayer Defendants”), BASF SE and BASF Corporation (collectively the “BASF Defendants”), The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”), Huntsman International LLC (“Huntsman”), and Lyondell Chemical Company (“Lyondell”). Plaintiffs had alleged in their Complaint that Defendants unlawfully agreed to fix, raise, maintain or stabilize the prices of Polyether Polyol Products (as defined below) sold in the United States and its territories during the period from January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2004, in violation of the federal antitrust laws. Plaintiffs alleged that, as a result of violations of the antitrust laws, they and other members of the Class paid more for Polyether Polyol Products than they would have paid absent such wrongful conduct.

Plaintiffs reached negotiated settlements of the claims against the Bayer Defendants, the BASF Defendants, Huntsman and Lyondell. 

Plaintiffs tried their antitrust claims against Dow to a jury, the Honorable John W. Lungstrum presiding, in January and February, 2013. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury rendered a verdict in favor of Class Plaintiffs. The Court entered Final Judgment against Dow and in favor of the Class Plaintiffs in the amount of $1,060,847,117.00, plus interest, for purchases between November 24, 2000 and December 31, 2003.

Dow appealed the verdict and judgment. The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s decisions on September 29, 2014.  The Tenth Circuit’s opinion is available at the “Court Documents” link on the left side of this page. On November 7, 2014, the Tenth Circuit denied Dow’s request for rehearing.

On March 9, 2015, Dow filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States, seeking further review of the verdict and judgment. The Supreme Court likely will rule on Dow’s petition in late 2015 or in the first half of 2016.

How do I submit a claim to receive money from the judgment against Dow?

It is too early for Class members to submit a claim to receive a share of the judgment against Dow. If Dow’s appeal ultimately is resolved in favor of the Plaintiffs and the Class, we will update this website and mail a Notice to Class members with information about the claims process.

Who is part of the Class?

In 2008, the District Court certified a Litigation Class consisting of all direct purchasers (excluding governmental entities and Defendants and their respective employees, parents, subsidiaries and affiliates) of Polyether Polyol Products in the United States and its territories from any of the Defendants, or any present or former parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of one of the Defendants, at any time during the period from January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2004.  POLYETHER POLYOL PRODUCTS are defined to mean:  (1) propylene oxide-based polyether polyols; (2) monomeric or polymeric diphenylmethane diisocyanates (MMDI or PMDI – collectively, “MDI”); (3) toluene diisocyanates (“TDI”); (4) MDI-TDI blends or (5) propylene oxide-based polyether polyol systems (except those that also contain polyester polyols). In 2013, the class period was shortened; it now ends on December 31, 2003. Notices about these rulings are available at the “Notices” links on the left side of this page.

What’s happening with the settlements?

Between 2006 and 2011, Plaintiffs reached negotiated settlements with the Bayer Defendants, the BASF Defendants, Huntsman, and Lyondell. All of the settling Defendants deny any wrongdoing. Notices summarizing these settlements, which have been approved by the Court and are now final, are available at the “Notices” link on the left side of this page.  Except for amounts that were retained to pay future litigation expenses, as described below, proceeds from these settlements have been distributed to the Class.

Dow’s Appeal and the Order to Retain a Portion of the BASF/Huntsman Settlement Fund

It could take several years to resolve Dow’s appeal. Pursuant to a Stipulated Order, Dow has posted a supersedeas bond in the amount of $400 million. The supersedeas bond operates like an insurance policy for the Class, so that if Dow becomes financially unable to pay some or all of the judgment while the appeal is pending, the supersedeas bond proceeds will remain available to pay the Class promptly at the conclusion of all appeals. But if Dow wins on the merits of its appeal, the Court could require Plaintiffs to reimburse Dow for the cost of the bond premiums. Therefore, on October 1, 2013, the Court ordered that $3.6 million be reserved from the second distribution of the Huntsman and BASF settlement funds to pay any taxable costs of a bond that may be awarded to Dow if it wins on appeal. In the event such taxable costs are not awarded to Dow, Class Counsel propose that the reserved funds either be distributed to the Class or, subject to Court approval, made available to pay any additional litigation expenses that may arise. A Notice describing the Court’s Order is available at the “Notices” links on the left side of this page. 

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