By Andrew Longstreth
Feb 20 A federal jury has ordered Dow Chemical
Co to pay $400 million in a price-fixing case involving
chemicals used to make foam products in cars, furniture and
packaging, according to court documents.
Dow was one of several chemical company defendants named in
a class action lawsuit alleging a conspiracy to fix urethane
chemical prices, but it was the only defendant not to settle.
Last month, it went to trial in a federal court in Kansas
The plaintiffs, purchasers of urethane chemicals, had sought
more than $1 billion in damages from Dow.
If the $400 million verdict is approved by the judge
overseeing the case, it could be tripled under federal antitrust
David Bernick, an attorney for Dow, said that the company
would seek to dismiss the lawsuit in a post-trial motion.
Separately, Dow said in a statement late on Wednesday that
it was disappointed the jury found price fixing conduct during
part of the time frame at issue, and that it continues to deny
The plaintiffs had sought damages for a five-year
conspiracy, but the jury did not find Dow liable for the full
five years, he said.
"We think it's very clear that the jury rejected the
five-year class conspiracy claim and there was no other claim,"
Joe Goldberg, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said he was
pleased with the verdict.
"The people of Kansas administered justice, consistent with
the evidence," Goldberg said.
Other defendants in the case have settled. In 2006 Bayer AG
agreed to pay $55 million. In 2011 Huntsman International LLC
agreed to pay $33 million and BASF Corp agreed to pay $51
million. In settling, none of the companies admitted any
The case is In Re Urethane Antitrust Litigation, U.S.
District Court, District of Kansas, 04-md-01616.