US Dow challenges $400m verdict in isocyanates price-fixing case

06 March 2013 23:00  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based Dow Chemical is challenging a $400m (€308m) verdict against it in an isocyanates price-fixing case, the company said on Wednesday.

"We strongly believe the jury rejected the sole conspiracy that the plaintiffs put before the jury, and we therefore have asked the court to enter a verdict in Dow’s favour as a matter of law," the company said in a statement.

Dow also wants the case to lose its class status, since the jury, by its verdict, rejected the class-wide claim, the company said.

In the alternative, Dow Chemical wants a new trial.

"Dow has always denied plaintiffs' allegations of price fixing," the company said. The price-fixing allegations were investigated by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) from 2005-2007.

Dow fully cooperated with the department, which closed the investigation in December 2007, without bringing charges against anyone.

"Consistent with the outcome in this earlier DOJ investigation, Dow should not be held liable in the civil case and will pursue this matter to a successful conclusion," the company said.

Last month, Dow was ordered pay more than $400m after a jury determined that it had fixed prices for isocyanates.

Dow was the last company defending itself against the lawsuit that was filed in 2004.

The lawsuit accused Huntsman, Bayer, BASF, Dow Chemical and LyondellBasell of fixing prices for propylene oxide (PO)-based polyether polyols, methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) and toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) that were purchased between 1 January 1999 and 31 December 2004.

In 2006, Bayer agreed to pay $55.3m to settle the suit's allegations against it.  

In 2011, Huntsman agreed to pay $33m and BASF agreed to pay $51m. LyondellBasell managed to settle the case for nothing.

The court has approved all of the settlements, leaving Dow as the lone producer fighting the class-action lawsuit.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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