US court approves Huntsman's $33m settlement in price-fixing suit

27 September 2011 23:55  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A US court approved on Tuesday Huntsman's proposal to pay $33m (€24m) to settle a class-action lawsuit, which accused the company of fixing prices on isocyanates and other feedstocks for polyurethane foam.

Under the settlement, Huntsman denied the allegations made in the lawsuit. Instead, Huntsman chose to settle the lawsuit to avoid the expense of fighting the case in court.

The court also approved LyondellBasell's settlement. Under it, LyondellBasell will pay nothing.

The lawsuit was filed in 2004, and it accused Huntsman, Bayer, BASF, Dow Chemical 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.

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

Earlier this month, BASF proposed paying $51m.

Dow is still fighting the class-action lawsuit.

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 court.

($1 = €0.74)

For more on isocyanates visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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