DIPF Indirect Purchaser Antitrust Litigation

Overview of Class Action Settlement

If you Indirectly purchased Ductile Iron Pipe Fittings between January 11, 2008, and December 31, 2013, you could be eligible to receive a portion of a class action settlement.

Please read the information on this website for your legal rights and options.

Important Update

The Court issued an Order on September 15, 2020 approving the distribution of funds to Settlement Class Members. The Court order is available here.

There is a proposed settlement with Defendant McWane, Inc. and its divisions, Clow Water Systems Co., Tyler Pipe Company, and Tyler Union (together, “McWane”) totaling $1,425,000, in a class action lawsuit called In re Ductile Iron Pipe Fittings (“DIPF”) Indirect Purchaser Antitrust Litigation, which is pending in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Under the proposed McWane Settlement, McWane has agreed to pay $1,425,000 in cash into a Settlement Fund. McWane has asserted a number of defenses to Plaintiffs’ claims and denies all wrongdoing. Both Plaintiffs and McWane settled to avoid the cost and risk of a trial. The McWane Settlement is subject to possible rescission under paragraphs 43-46 of the Settlement Agreement.

The McWane Settlement pertains to a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of indirect purchasers. An indirect purchase is a purchase of DIPF from someone other than the Defendants, such as a distributor or other middleman. There are two other lawsuits brought by other plaintiffs that are also pending in the same Court, one brought on behalf of direct purchasers, and the other brought by the State of Indiana. The direct purchaser plaintiffs and the State of Indiana have each reached separate settlement agreements with McWane. This Notice explains only the settlement of claims against McWane by indirect purchasers of DIPF, as well as a Plan of Allocation of the Settlement Fund and Class Counsel’s Request for Attorneys’ Fees, Reimbursement of Expenses, and Service Awards for the Class Representatives.

“Ductile Iron Pipe Fittings” or “DIPF,” as those terms are used in these settlements, refers to fittings used to join, among other products, iron and plastic pipes, valves, and hydrants within water systems as well as to change, divide, or direct the flow of water. DIPF includes both Domestic DIPF and DIPF produced abroad. “Domestic DIPF,” as that term is used in these settlements, means DIPF that is produced by McWane in the United States and is used in pressurized water and wastewater projects in the United States with domestic-only preferences or specifications.

Plaintiffs claim that from at least as early as January 11, 2008, through at least as late as June 30, 2011, Defendants engaged in a conspiracy to fix prices for DIPF in the United States in violation of state antitrust and consumer protection laws. Plaintiffs also claim that from at least as early as September 17, 2009, through December 31, 2013, Defendant McWane illegally monopolized, and Defendants SIGMA and McWane conspired to restrain trade in and monopolize the market for Domestic DIPF in the United States in violation of antitrust and consumer protection laws. Plaintiffs allege they and the members of the settlement class paid more for DIPF and Domestic DIPF than they otherwise would have paid absent Defendants’ anticompetitive conduct. McWane and the other Defendants deny all of Plaintiffs’ claims and have asserted various defenses. The Court has not made any decision as to the merits of the Plaintiffs’ allegations.

There have been two previous settlements totaling $2,646,250 with Defendants SIGMA and Star that have been approved by the Court. Approval of the proposed McWane Settlement by the Court will end this lawsuit.

Please Note: While the terms of the Settlements exclude federal government agencies and instrumentalities from participating as Class Members, they do not exclude municipalities or other local or state government agencies. If you have any questions regarding whether you are able to participate, please see FAQ 7, or call 1-855-907-3111

SUBMIT A CLAIM FORM If you wish to make a claim against the Settlement Fund, and you did not previously file a Claim Form in connection with the SIGMA Settlement or Star Settlement, you will need to file a Claim Form in order to receive money from the Settlement Fund. (See FAQ 10).
GO TO THE COURT’S HEARING Ask the Court for permission to speak about the fairness of the McWane Settlement, the Plan of Allocation, or the Request for Attorneys’ Fees, Reimbursement of Expenses, and Service Awards for the Class Representatives. (See FAQ 23).
OBJECT Write to the Court about why you don’t like the McWane Settlement, Plan of Allocation, or the Request for Attorneys’ Fees, Reimbursement of Expenses, and Service Awards for the Class Representatives. (See FAQ 19)
EXCLUDE YOURSELF Get no payment from the McWane Settlement (See FAQ 14) and retain the right to sue McWane on your own.
DO NOTHING You do not have to take any action to remain part of the Settlement Class. (See FAQ 24). You will give up your right to sue McWane for the claims alleged in this lawsuit (See FAQ 13) but will receive a payment only if you file a claim (See FAQ 10).