Urethane Antitrust Litigation (Polyether Polyol Cases)
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July 26, 2013 Notice Regarding Modification of the Class Definition
August 8, 2013 Notice Regarding Motion For Retention of Portion of BASF/Huntsman Settlement Fund, And For an Award of Expenses
October 10, 2008 Notice of Pending Class Action
September 29, 2014 10th Circuit Opinion
Court Documents
Contact Information

Welcome to the Urethane Antitrust Litigation (Polyether Polyol Cases) website.

Last updated: October 23, 2014

LATEST NEWS

In January 2013, representative plaintiffs Seegott Holdings, Inc., Industrial Polymers, Inc., and Quabaug Corporation went to trial against the sole remaining defendant in this antitrust class action litigation, The Dow Chemical Company ("Dow"). (All of the other defendants settled with the Plaintiffs before trial, without admitting liability.) After a four-week trial, the jury rendered a verdict in favor of Plaintiffs and the Class and against Dow in the amount of $400,049,039. Dow filed post-trial motions, including a motion to decertify the Class, which the Court denied on May 15, 2013. After tripling the jury verdict as provided for in the antitrust laws, and after offsetting that amount by the $139,300,000 in settlements obtained from the settling defendants, the District Court entered judgment against Dow and in favor of the Class in the amount of $1,060,847,117, plus statutory interest at a rate of 0.11 percent, for purchases between November 24, 2000 and December 31, 2003.

Dow appealed the jury verdict and the judgment, as well as the court’s earlier decision to certify this as a class action, to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. On September 29, 2014, a Tenth Circuit panel unanimously affirmed the trial court’s decisions, upholding both class certification and the $1.06 billion judgment against Dow. The court’s opinion is available in the box on the left. Class Counsel anticipate that Dow will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Tenth Circuit decision. The net proceeds of the judgment (if any) will not be distributed to Class members until all appeals are resolved. This website will be updated when that occurs.

As advised in the Notice dated July 26, 2013 (available at the link above), the District Court originally certified this litigation as a class action covering eligible purchases of Polyether Polyol Products from January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2004. On May 15, 2013, the District Court issued a Memorandum and Order shortening the class period to conform to the evidence developed during discovery and presented at trial. The class period now ends on December 31, 2003. This change could affect your right to pursue claims against Dow as follows.

  • If you were a member of the Class as originally certified on July 29, 2008 but purchased Polyether Polyol Products (as described below) from any of the Defendants during 2004 only, you are no longer a member of the Class proceeding against Dow and will not be able to participate in any recovery from Dow. You are no longer represented by Class Counsel.

  • If you were a member of the Class as originally certified on July 29, 2008 and purchased Polyether Polyol Products before and during 2004, your 2004 purchases are no longer part of the claims being pursued in this class action against Dow. You may participate in any recovery from Dow, but your 2004 purchases will not be considered in calculating your recovery. Class Counsel continue to represent you for purchases made before 2004, but Class Counsel do not represent you for purchases you made during 2004.

To protect your legal rights to seek recovery from Dow for any purchases you made during 2004, you may wish to consult with your own lawyer at your own expense. You should act promptly because any claims arising from 2004 purchases could become time-barred by operation of law. By Court order, the statute of limitations was tolled as of May 15, 2013, but began running again as of October 8, 2013.

The modification of the class period only applies to the claims against Dow. It does not affect the claims that were settled with former defendants Bayer AG, Bayer MaterialScience LLC (f/k/a Bayer Polymers LLC), Bayer Corporation, BASF SE (f/k/a BASF AG), BASF Corporation, Huntsman International LLC, or Lyondell Chemical Company. It does not affect your entitlement to settlement payments that you have already received or will receive in the future from those settlements. For more information about those settlements, please visit www.PolyetherPolyolSettlement.com.


What Is This Litigation About?

Plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against multiple defendants alleging that the 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 class period, in violation of the federal antitrust laws.

Polyether Polyol Products are: (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).

On February 20, 2013, after a four-week trial, a jury in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas found that Dow participated in a conspiracy to fix, raise, or stabilize prices for Polyether Polyol Products, that the conspiracy caused Class Plaintiffs to pay more for the products than they would have paid absent a conspiracy, and that Class Plaintiffs proved damages in the amount of $400,049,039.00. On July 26, 2013, the District Court entered judgment against Dow and in favor of the Class in the amount of $1,060,847,117, plus statutory interest at a rate of 0.11 percent, for purchases between November 24, 2000 and December 31, 2003.

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

Dow is appealing the jury verdict and the judgment rendered against it, a process that could take several years. 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 Final 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.

The Court also awarded Class Counsel reimbursement of $3,081,726.22 in litigation expenses from the proceeds of the Huntsman and BASF settlements. These expenses include costs for expert witnesses and other trial expenses. The Court's October 1, 2013 order is available in the "Court Documents" link above.

Who is Part of the Class?

Pursuant to the District Court’s July 29, 2008 order certifying this lawsuit as a class action and its May 15, 2013 order shortening the Class period, the Litigation Class consists of: All persons and entities who purchased Polyether Polyol Products (as defined above in "What is This Litigation About?") directly from a defendant at any time from January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2003 in the United States and its territories (excluding all governmental entities, any defendants, their employees, and their respective parents, subsidiaries, and affiliates). The July 29, 2008 and May 15, 2013 orders are available for download or viewing using the Court Documents link on the left side of this page.

The deadline for requesting exclusion from the Class has expired. Therefore, if you fall within the Class definition and did not exclude yourself, you are a Class member.

Class members will share the net proceeds of the judgment against Dow, if any. As a Class member, you will not be personally responsible for attorneys’ fees or costs unless you hire your own individual attorney. The fees and costs for Class Counsel have and will continue to come from any recovery for the Class as approved by the Court. All decisions and judgments the Court renders in this lawsuit bind all Class members under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(c)(3). Class members may retain individual counsel at their own expense and enter individual appearances in the litigation but are not required to do so.

How Do I Get Further Information?

More information is available at the links on the left side of this website, but we urge you to consult the settlement website – www.PolyetherPolyolSettlement.com – for more in-depth information about the litigation as originally filed and the settlements with all of the defendants except Dow. You can also obtain information by contacting the Settlement Administrator through the address below or by clicking on "Contact Information" on the upper left of this website.

Urethane Antitrust Litigation
Polyether Polyol Cases
c/o Rust Consulting, LLC.
P.O. Box 2711
Faribault, MN 55021
urethaneinfo@rustconsulting.com
877-741-1226

Please do not direct inquiries to the Defendants, the Court, or the Clerk’s office.