PPG faces $150m bill after losing wood preservative appeal

24 March 2005 15:41  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (CNI)--US coatings and chemicals group PPG faces a bill of about $150m (around Euro113m) after losing a legal battle with a customer which had claimed one of its wood preservatives was defective.


PPG lost its appeal against a decision by the District Court in Minnesota in a breach-of-warranty case brought by Marvin Windows and Doors,


The total judgement, including interest, could cost PPG between $145m and $150m (about Euro109m-113m), PPG has estimated. PPG is evaluating its options for further appeals.


Marvin said that problems started with the durability of its windows and doors after it changed, around 1985, from preservatives containing pentachlorophenol (Penta) to PPG’s Preservative In Line Treatment (PILT). The case was originally heard before the District Court in Minnesota in 1994, after Marvin realised that there was a link between increasing rot in its window frames and the change in preservative.


The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in its judgement said that the time lag between changing preservatives and bringing the action was reasonable partially because PPG told Marvin’s employees “wood products treated with PILT would last as long or longer than Penta-treated products”.


The district court initially instructed the jury to find against PPG.


PPG appealed against this ruling on a number of grounds. Most of which were dismissed by the Appeals court which said in its latest judgement: “Frankly, we think the District Court on balance did a fine job.”


However, the three judge appeals panel was not completely in agreement. There were two dissenting verdicts on the level of compensation that PPG should have to pay.


To see the full verdict: CLICK HERE.

By: Simon Robinson
+44 20 8652 3214

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