US Dow to continue fighting isocyanates price-fixing lawsuit

23 September 2011 22:35  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based Dow Chemical will continue to defend itself against an isocyanates price-fixing lawsuit, even as other producers have reached settlements, the company said on Friday.

Dow is the only remaining producer that has not reached a settlement with the isocyanates customers participating in the class-action lawsuit. The other four, BASF, Bayer, Huntsman and LyondellBasell have all proposed settlements.

"Dow disputes the contention that we did anything improper, and we continue to aggressively defend this lawsuit," the company said in a statement.

Earlier this week, BASF proposed paying $51m (€38m) to settle the class-action lawsuit.

In proposing the settlement, BASF denied the price-fixing allegations. It agreed to settle the case to avoid the cost, inconvenience and distractions that would come with prolonging the litigation.

The proposal is pending approval in the US District Court, district of Kansas.

The lawsuit was filed in 2004, and it accused Huntsman, Bayer, BASF, Dow and LyondellBasell of fixing prices.

The complaint covered propylene oxide (PO) based polyether polyols; methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI); and toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) that were purchased from 1 January 1999 through 31 December 2004.

Earlier this year, Huntsman agreed to pay $33m to settle the lawsuit.

Netherlands-based LyondellBasell has also proposed settling the lawsuit. However, it would pay nothing.

In 2006, Bayer agreed to pay $55.3m to settle the allegations.  

In all, the isocyanates customers in the class-action lawsuit have reached $139.3m in settlements with the producers.

The isocyanates litigation also includes complaints filed by two groups of customers who chose not to participate in the class-action lawsuit.

The BASF and Huntsman settlements do not address these two non-class lawsuits, according to Dow, and those complaints remain pending.

Meanwhile, a separate price-fixing lawsuit had been filed against many of the isocyanates customers. These customers used the isocyanates as feedstock to produce polyurethane foam.

The buyers of polyurethane foam accused the producers of fixing prices. That lawsuit is still pending in US District Court, northern Ohio district.

($1 = €0.74)

For more on isocyanates visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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