Dow, which is in the process of merging with Dupont, said on Friday it made a decision to settle, without admitting any wrongdoing, because of “growing political uncertainties due to recent events within the Supreme Court”.
Dow Chemical Co. had planned to take its fight against a $1.06 billion class-action lawsuit all the way to the Supreme Court, but the death of Justice Antonin Scalia prompted the multinational corporation to alter its strategy and settle the case instead.
The company’s Supreme Court petition argued that the original judgment was “fundamentally flawed” and cited decisions written by Scalia in 2011 and 2013. Both cases present common questions of law that may limit class-action liability – an area where the Supreme Court of late has been friendly to business interests.
The Dow Chemical Co. has agreed to pay the plaintiff $835 million in a settlement agreement to resolve litigation related to claims of urethane price-fixing. The company thought it had a good shot at setting aside a lower court’s $1.06 billion award to the plaintiffs on the grounds that it violated class-action law.
The death of Scalia, a Constitutional originalist who belonged to the nine-member court’s conservative wing, immediately set up a showdown between congressional Republicans and President Barack Obama over naming a replacement.
Justice Antonin Scalia’s sudden death on February 13, 2016, generated a number of speculations and theories about his death.
Scalia, of course, was not exactly a fan of class actions. Dow continues to believe strongly in its legal position as expressed in its petition, said Dow spokesperson Rachelle Schikkora, adding the case has been ongoing for a long time. Dow’s integrated, market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 180 countries and in high-growth sectors such as packaging, electronics, water, coatings and agriculture.
Friday’s settlement is just another example of the shifting landscape at the Supreme Court – and why it matters who fills the now-vacant seat. The final judgment in the case was reduced to reflect $139 million in settlements with the other defendants before trial.
“Dow cooperated with an extensive investigation by the US Department of Justice, which closed its investigation in 2007 without taking any or proposing any action against Dow”.