Dow Chemical Hit With $400 Million Class Action Antitrust Jury Verdict
Although we normally post on securities litigation matters, we also follow antitrust litigation regularly, since it makes up a significant part of our practice. Especially interesting are jury verdicts in class action antitrust matters, since they are relatively uncommon (but occurring with greater frequency).
They may occur with even greater frequency after the plaintiffs’ victory in the urethane price-fixing litigation against Dow Chemical. In that case, Dow was hit hit last week with a $400 million jury verdict in a federal jury trial in Kansas City, KS. The judge may treble the verdict to $1.2 billion under the Sherman Act.
The verdict follows earlier settlements with Bayer A.G ($55.3 million); BASF S.E. ($51 million); and Huntsman International, LLC ($33 million).
The plaintiffs contended that the alleged conspiracy began when the urethane manufacturers had excess inventory. Dow, however, contended that there was no direct evidence of a conspiratorial agreement among the manufacturers and that prices dropped during the time-frame of the alleged conspiracy. The jury apparently sided with the plaintiffs, but Dow has promised an appeal.
Congratulations to the victorious plaintiffs’ counsel!