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Dow urethane pricing trial moving forward

By: RUBBER & PLASTICS NEWS

February 6, 2014

The Kansas City federal district court has denied Dow Chemical Co.'s motion to dismiss the urethane chemical price-fixing claims brought by three groups of plaintiffs that opted out of a $1.2 billion class action judgment ordered last May.

Midland, Mich.-based Dow had sought dismissal of the claims brought by plaintiffs' groups led by Carpenter Co., Woodbridge Foam Corp. and Dash Multi-Corp Inc. on the grounds that former or current executives of these companies had invoked Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in their testimony.

"Defendant has not shown…that those invocations have interfered with the court's docket or the judicial process in general," Judge John W. Lungstrum wrote in his Feb. 3 decision.

"Defendant has also failed to show any culpability or improper conduct by plaintiffs themselves with respect to invocation of the privilege," Lungstrum wrote.

Earlier, in November 2013 and twice in January 2014, the court denied Dow's motions for further discovery in the case.

A Dow spokeswoman said the company was disappointed by Lungstrum's Feb. 3 decision and promised to defend itself vigorously at trial.

"Dow has always denied plaintiffs' allegations of price fixing, and will continue to do so in these proceedings," she said.

Dow and several other urethane chemical manufacturers were named in a price-fixing class action lawsuit that began in 2005. Eventually, all the defendant companies except Dow settled with the plaintiffs.

Carpenter, Woodbridge Foam and Dash Multi-Corp lead plaintiffs' groups that chose to opt out of the $1.2 billion judgment in May 2013 in order to pursue their own cases against Dow.