ERJ staff report (RPN)
Kansas City – Dow Chemical Co. has been ordered to more than $400m (Euro 303m) to plaintiffs in an antitrust case after a jury found the company guilty of conspiring to fix prices for urethane chemicals,reports Miles Moore of Rubber & Plastics News.
The jury at the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas on 20 February found that Dow had participated in the price-fixing conspiracy, causing the plaintiffs to pay inflated prices for urethane chemicals.
However, the jury also said there is no evidence of overpayments to Dow before Nov. 24, 2000. The original lawsuit accused Dow and the other defendants of conspiring to fix prices between 1999 and 2003.
If Senior Judge John W. Lungstrum approves the verdict, it could be tripled under federal antitrust law. The plaintiffs had sought $1.125bn (Euro 0.85bn), Dow said in a statement.
Dow was the only defendant not to settle in the multidistrict litigation, which was consolidated in the Kansas district court in September 2004. The trial against Dow began on 23 January.
Dow said it is disappointed in the verdict and continues to deny all allegations in the class action. However, the company is pleased the jury rejected the total class claim as unproven.
"There are compelling post-trial motions that will be filed and addressed by the court," Dow said. The company also said it is evaluating all its options, including appeal.