Court Grants Class Certification In Urethane Antitrust Litigation

August 11th, 2008

SFMS is one of the law firms involved in the action captioned, In re: Urethane Antitrust Litigation, No. 04-MD-1616-JWL, pending in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. On July 28, 2008, Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification was granted. The opinion granting the Motion for Class Certification was authored by the Honorable John W. Lungstrum. The certified class consists of all direct purchasers of Polyether Polyol Products in the United States and its territories from January 1, 1999, through December 31, 2004 (the “Class”). Polyether Polyol Products include the following: propylene oxide-based polyether polyols; monomeric or polymeric diphenylmethane diisocyanates (MMDI or PMDI—collectively, MDI); toluene diisocyanates (TDI; MDI-TDI blends; or propylene oxide-based polyether polyol systems (except those that also contain polyester polyols). The Court’s decision relates to the Polyether Polyol Cases, as opposed to the Polyester Polyol Cases, which have been settled and dismissed.

The Court found that the requirements of numerosity and commonality were satisfied under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a). The Court ruled that the Rule 23(b)(3) requirements of predominance and superiority were satisfied because Plaintiffs demonstrated that they can present their case as to the two elements of an antitrust violation and injury in fact on a class-wide basis. Further, the Court found that the representative Plaintiffs claims’ are typical of those of the putative class pursuant to Rule 23(a)(3). Finally, the Court ruled that the representative Plaintiffs and their Counsel met the requirements of adequacy pursuant to Rule 23(a)(4).

It is expected that on or before August 29, 2008, Plaintiffs will submit a notice plan to the Court for purposes of notifying the Class of the Court’s decision certifying the Class.