EUTAW, ALA. - DuPont Co., which supplied acetal resins for polybutylene pipe fittings, has announced a $120 million settlement to fix plumbing leaks in thousands of housing units nationwide. Judge Eddie Hardaway of Circuit Court of Greene County in Eutaw gave preliminary approval to the settlement on May 26. A final decision is not expected for several months.
DuPont said the money would pay for 8 percent of the cost to fix the plumbing problems. The money will go for plumbing replacement, lawyer fees and other expenses. The settlement covers housing units nationwide, although the exact number is not available, DuPont spokeswoman Diane Currie said.
DuPont continues to work with resin suppliers Shell Chemical Co. and Hoechst Celanese Corp. on a giant settlement covering PB pipe in about 6 million homes, Currie said. The companies, along with lawyers for the homeowners, had proposed a $750 million settlement, but in February that proposal was thrown out by a judge in Texas State District Court in Harris County, Texas. The judge ruled that the state court does not have jurisdiction over a national class-action lawsuit.
DuPont, which has claimed to be a minor supplier in the PB plumbing market, continues to deny liability in the litigation.
DuPont lawyer John Kane praised the settlement approval.
``We believe this settlement is fair in light of DuPont's limited sales into this industry and is equitable to consumers.''