Urethane Antitrust Litigation
www.polyetherpolyolsettlement.com

Frequently Asked Questions

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1. What is this litigation about and what is its status?

This class action lawsuit began in 2004. Plaintiffs Seegott Holdings, Inc., Industrial Polymers, Inc. and Quabaug Corporation (“Plaintiffs”) alleged that Defendants Bayer AG, Bayer Corporation, and Bayer MaterialScience LLC (collectively, the “Bayer Defendants”), BASF SE and BASF Corporation (collectively, the “BASF Defendants”), The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”), Huntsman International LLC (“Huntsman”), and Lyondell Chemical Company (“Lyondell”) unlawfully agreed to fix, raise, maintain or stabilize the prices of Polyether Polyol Products (as defined below) sold in the United States and its territories during the period from January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2004. Plaintiffs alleged that as a result of such violations of the federal antitrust laws, Plaintiffs and other members of the Class paid more for Polyether Polyol Products than they would have paid absent such wrongful conduct.

Plaintiffs and the Class previously reached negotiated settlements of the claims against the Bayer Defendants, the BASF Defendants, Huntsman and Lyondell. The United States District Court for the District of Kansas (“District Court”) approved the settlements. Proceeds from these settlements have been distributed to Class Members who filed timely claims.

Plaintiffs tried their antitrust claims against Dow to a jury in 2013. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury found in favor of Plaintiffs and the Class and against Dow. On May 15, 2013, the District Court denied Dow’s post-trial motions and modified the Class Period to January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2003. This change was implemented to conform the class definition to the evidence developed through discovery and presented at trial. The District Court also entered Final Judgment against Dow and in favor of Plaintiffs and the Class in the amount of $1,060,847,117.00, plus interest, for purchases between November 24, 2000 and December 31, 2003. In other words, the jury found no damages for the period prior to November 24, 2000. Thus, any claims to be filed for participation in the Dow Settlement will be restricted to the purchases made from any Defendant during the Damages Period of November 24, 2000 through December 31, 2003.

Dow appealed the jury verdict and judgment. The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s decisions on September 29, 2014. On November 7, 2014, the Tenth Circuit denied Dow’s request for rehearing.

On March 9, 2015, Dow petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States to consider a further appeal. On May 11, 2015, Plaintiffs opposed Dow’s petition. On February 25, 2016, before the Supreme Court decided whether to consider Dow’s appeal, the parties reached the settlement. The District Court preliminarily approved the settlement on April 27, 2016.

The Fairness Hearing was held on July 27, 2016 and the Court approved the Settlement, the Plan of Allocation, and the request for an award of attorney’s fees, incentive awards, and reimbursement of costs and expenses on July 29, 2016. The Court’s order and other important documents are available at the “Case Documents” section of this website.

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2. Who is part of the Class?

The Class is defined as:

All persons and entities who purchased Polyether Polyol Products (defined below) directly from a defendant at any time from January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2003 in the United States and its territories (excluding all governmental entities, any defendants, their employees, and their respective parents, subsidiaries and affiliates).

“Polyether Polyol Products” are: (1) propylene oxide-based polyether polyols (polyols); (2) monomeric or polymeric diphenylmethane diisocyanates (MMDI or PMDI – collectively, “MDI”); (3) toluene diisocyanates (“TDI”); (4) MDI-TDI blends or (5) propylene oxide-based polyether polyol systems (except those that also contain polyester polyols).

“Defendants” are:

  • Bayer AG, Bayer Corporation, and Bayer MaterialScience LLC (f/k/a Bayer Polymers LLC);
  • BASF Corporation and BASF SE (f/k/a BASF AG);
  • The Dow Chemical Company;
  • Huntsman International LLC; and
  • Lyondell Chemical Company.

You are not a member of the Class, and you cannot participate in the Dow Settlement, if you previously excluded yourself from the Class. If you did not previously exclude yourself and you otherwise meet the Class definition, then you are a member of the Class.

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3. What does it mean to purchase “directly” from the Defendants?

The Class is limited to persons or entities that purchased “directly” from any of the Defendants at any time during the Class Period. A purchase from an intermediary, such as a distributor, is not a direct purchase.

You do not need to have purchased from Dow to be a member of the Class. Instead, the Settlement covers direct purchases from any of the Defendants (or their subsidiaries or controlled affiliates) during the relevant period.

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4. What does the Settlement provide, and how will the proceeds be allocated and distributed?

Dow has paid $835 million for the benefit of the Class. The Settlement Agreement is available at the “Case Documents” page.

The Net Settlement Fund (the settlement amount available after deducting attorneys’ fees, incentive awards, expenses of the litigation and administrative costs, as awarded by the Court) will be distributed in accordance with each Class Member’s estimated overcharges for the Damages Period between November 24, 2000 and December 31, 2003 (see Question 1), as calculated by Plaintiffs’ damages expert. Based on these calculations, each Class Member that files a timely claim then will be allocated a share of the funds available for distribution, such that its share will be in proportion to the total of all Claimants' overcharges.

This is only a summary of the plan for allocating and distributing settlement proceeds. The Plan of Allocation is available at the “Case Documents” section of this website.

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5. As a member of the Class, what am I giving up?

Class Members have released Dow as described in paragraph 26 of the Settlement Agreement, regardless of whether or not they submit a claim form. The Settlement Agreement is posted under the “Case Documents” page.

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7. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

The Court has appointed two firms as Co-Lead Class Counsel in this case: Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C., One South Broad St., 23rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107 and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, 1100 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20005-3964.

These and other firms (“Plaintiffs’ Counsel”) represent you and other members of the Class. The fees for Plaintiffs’ Counsel’s services will be paid from the Settlement Fund created by the Dow Settlement and you will not be otherwise charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

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8. How will Plaintiffs’ Counsel be paid?

The Court approved Plaintiffs’ Counsel’s petition for payment of attorneys’ fees and for reimbursement of certain out-of-pocket expenses incurred since July 1, 2011, to be paid from the Settlement Fund.

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9. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement, the Plan of Allocation, and the Fee Petition?

The Fairness Hearing was held on July 27, 2016 and the Court approved the Settlement, the Plan of Allocation, and the request for an award of attorney’s fees, incentive awards, and reimbursement of costs and expenses on July 29, 2016.

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10. When and how can I submit a claim?

Class Members will need to submit a Dow Settlement claim form even if they previously filed claims in connection with settlements with the Bayer, BASF, and Huntsman Defendants. Claims Forms were mailed on January 13, 2017. Claim Forms are available here. The deadline for submitting Claims Forms is February 27, 2017.

Class Members who accept the purchase data on the personalized claim form can file a claim without any further proof of your purchases.

Class Members who believe their eligible purchases are higher than the amounts shown on the personalized claim forms will have to submit documentation (such as invoices, purchase orders, and cancelled checks) of their purchases. To be eligible for compensation, purchases must have been made directly from a Defendant, and not through an intermediary such as a wholesaler or distributor. The purchases must have been made during the Damages Period of November 24, 2000 through December 31, 2003 (which is shorter than the claims period for the Bayer, BASF and Huntsman settlements). The products purchased must meet the definition of Polyether Polyol Products set forth in Question 2. A list of “Eligible Products” is posted on this website.

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11. What is the deadline for submitting a Claim Form?

The Deadline to submit a Claim Form is February 27, 2017.

Please note that the Claim Form, even if prepared by a third party, must be completed and signed by the Class Member.

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12. What do I need to do to complete the Claim Form?

If you accept the Direct Purchase Amounts listed on the first page of the Claim Form, you do not need to attach any additional information to submit the claim. You will need to complete the Certification and Claimant Identification information on page 2 of the Claim Form and your share of the Net Settlement Fund will be calculated based on the listed amounts.

Please note that the Claim Form, even if prepared by a third party, must be completed and signed by the Class Member.

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13. What if I disagree with the listed Direct Purchase Amounts?

If you disagree with the pre-printed information listed on the first page of the Claim Form, please enter the corrected purchase amounts in the table provided on page 3 of the Claim Form and complete the Certification and Claimant Identification information on page 2 of the Claim Form. You must attach documentation in support of any corrected amounts.

Please note that the Claim Form, even if prepared by a third party, must be completed and signed by the Class Member.

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14. I received multiple Claim Forms. Which ones should I submit?

A. Different Reference Numbers:

If you appeared in Defendants’ records under other names or at different locations, you and related entities and locations may receive multiple but non-duplicative Proof of Claim Forms, each with a unique Reference Number. The Reference Number is located on the top of the first page of the Claim Form.

In those circumstances, you are encouraged to combine all of your claims into one Proof of Claim. To do so, you must mail all the Proof of Claim forms to the Settlement Administrator with a written request specifying which Claim Numbers to combine and designating one of them as the master claim. The Claim Number is located on the top of the first page of the Claim Form.

B. Same Reference Numbers:

If you received multiple Claim Forms with the same Reference Number, you should only submit one of the Claim Forms. All of the purchases associated with the Reference Number have been combined, but forms may have been mailed to multiple addresses.

C. Class Members Must Sign:

Please note that the Claim Form, even if prepared by a third party, must be completed and signed by the Class Member.

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15. When will I get a payment?

It is too early to know when payments will be sent to Class Members.

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16. How can I keep unformed as to the status of the claims process and how do I get more information?

The best way to keep informed of the status of the claims process is by frequently consulting this website, which will be updated after significant developments. The Frequently Asked Questions and Case Documents sections of the website provide much important information and should answer most questions.

If you have additional questions, you may contact the settlement administrator through the “Contact Us” link or at:

Urethane Antitrust Litigation
c/o GCG
PO Box 10223
Dublin, OH 43017-5723
1-877-741-1226
questions@polyetherpolyolsettlement.com

You also may contact Plaintiffs’ Counsel Don Perelman or Jerry Dever, of Fine Kaplan and Black, R.P.C., at 215-567-6565.

Please do not direct inquiries to the Court, the Clerk’s office, or Dow.

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17. What is the status of the Third and Final BASF and Huntsman Distribution?

The Third and Final BASF and Huntsman Distribution commenced on December 1, 2016.

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18. Who was eligible to receive payment in the Third and Final BASF and Huntsman Distribution?

Payments were distributed on a pro rata basis to all Authorized Claimants of the BASF and Huntsman Settlements whose distribution payments were $10.00 or more.

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19. How were payments calculated for the Third and Final BASF and Huntsman Distribution?

Payments were calculated by using the same Recognized Loss Amounts and following the same methodology and procedures that were ordered by the Court for the Second Distribution of the BASF and Huntsman Settlement Funds.

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20. How can I request a replacement check for the Third and Final BASF and Huntsman Distribution?

All reissue requests must be submitted in writing and mailed to the Settlement Administrator at:

Urethane Antitrust Litigation
c/o GCG
P.O. Box 10223
Dublin, Ohio 43017-5723

or e-mailed to questions@polyetherpolyolsettlement.com. Please include your full name, address, and claim number (if available).

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