May 16, 2013

A federal judge in Kansas City, Kansas, this week ordered The Dow Chemical Company to pay more than $1.2 billion to plaintiffs in an antitrust case involving price-fixing of chemicals used to make polyurethane foam. 

U.S. District Court Judge John W. Lungstrum denied Dow’s motions to decertify the class, for judgment as a matter of law, and for a new trial and upheld the Feb. 20, 2013, jury verdict in the case involving price-fixing of chemicals used to make foam products found in vehicles, household items and packaging. 

“This is an excellent outcome for the plaintiffs who were overcharged by Dow and other chemical manufacturers,” said plaintiffs co-lead counsel Richard Koffman of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC. 

Cohen Milstein, along with Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C.; Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Urias & Ward P.A.; and Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, P.L.L.C, represent a class of direct purchasers of chemicals used to manufacture polyurethanes. The plaintiffs contended that they were overcharged by Dow and four other chemical companies as a result of a nationwide price-fixing conspiracy that occurred from 1999 through 2003.

Three other chemical companies – Bayer, BASF, and Huntsman International, LLC -- previously agreed to settle claims against them for approximately $139 million. A fourth company, Lyondell Chemical Co., was under bankruptcy protection and settled without paying damages. 

Cohen Milstein and co-lead counsel Fine, Kaplan and Black had been litigating the case in the U.S. District Court, District of Kansas, since 2004. In addition to Goldberg,  trial counsel in the case included Mike Guzman of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, assisted by Kit Pierson of Cohen Milstein and Donald Perelman and Roberta Liebenberg of Fine, Kaplan and Black. Richard Koffman, Christopher Cormier, and Sharon Robertson also served on the trial team from Cohen Milstein. Gerard Dever, Matt Duncan, and Paul Costa also served on the trial team for Fine, Kaplan, and Black.

For more information about In Re Urethane Antitrust Litigation, visit /case-study/urethanes-polyether-polyols