Buyers seek to dismiss PU foam maker from US price-fixing suit

19 March 2012 15:56  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A group of buyers is seeking to dismiss a polyurethane (PU) foam producer from a US lawsuit that accused it of fixing prices, lawyers confirmed on Monday.

The company, US-based Plastomer, denied all of the allegations made in the lawsuit, according to court documents filed in US District Court, northern Ohio district. Moreover, it will not pay anything.

However, Plastomer did agree to provide information to help the buyers with their lawsuit.

If the dismissal is approved by the court, it would cover two groups of foam customers.

The first group bought foam directly from the producers.

The second group is made up of indirect purchasers ­– customers who bought the finished mattresses and furniture.

Plastomer is among several foam producers accused of fixing prices. Others include Carpenter, Flexible Foam Products, Future Foam, FXI - Foamex Innovations, Hickory Springs Manufacturing, Leggett & Platt, Mohawk Industries, Otto Bock Polyurethane Technologies, Scottdel, Valle Foam, Vitafoam and the Woodbridge Group.

UK-based Vitafoam has proposed paying up to $15m (€11m) to settle the allegations.

The buyers are seeking to dismiss Canada-based Valle Foam after the company and two subsidiaries filed for creditor protection.

Leggett & Platt and Otto Bock have both denied the allegations.

Many of the foam producers being sued have filed their own price-fixing lawsuits against producers of polyether polyols, toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) and methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI).

The lawsuits have become a tangle of litigation filed against BASF, Dow Chemical, Huntsman and LyondellBasell. All have proposed settlements except for Dow Chemical.

The litigation is pending in the US District Court of Kentucky.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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