There is a proposed Settlement of $30,000,000 in a class action lawsuit called In re Cast Iron Soil Pipe and Fittings Antitrust Litigation, which is pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The defendants in the lawsuit, called “Defendants” in this notice, are McWane, Inc., and its unincorporated divisions, Tyler Pipe Company and AB&I Foundry; Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company and Randolph Holding Company, LLC; and the Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute. This lawsuit claims that all Defendants engaged in a conspiracy to fix, raise, maintain, and stabilize prices for cast iron soil pipe and fittings (“CISP”) at artificially high levels in violation of the federal antitrust laws. This lawsuit also claims that Charlotte Pipe conducted an acquisition that substantially lessened competition in the relevant CISP market in violation the federal antitrust laws. The Defendants deny all of plaintiffs’ claims, deny all wrongdoing, and have asserted various defenses to those claims. The Court hasn’t made any decision on the merits of plaintiffs’ allegations.
There is a Settlement Class consisting of: All persons or entities that purchased CISP in the United States directly from any of the Defendants, their subsidiaries, predecessors, or affiliates, from November 1, 2006, through December 31, 2013. Excluded from the Settlement Class are certain companies that have already settled their claims against Defendants or which have otherwise agreed to exclude themselves from the Settlement, the Defendants, their parent companies, subsidiaries, predecessors, and affiliates, federal and state governmental entities and instrumentalities of federal or state governments.
The Defendants have paid $30,000,000 in cash (the “Settlement Fund”). If you are a Settlement Class Member and do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you may be eligible to get a payment. To qualify for a payment, you must complete and send in a valid Claim Form. Be sure to sign the Claim Form and mail it by first-class mail postmarked no later than February 13, 2017, to: CISP Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation, c/o RG/2 Claims Administration, P.O. Box 59479, Philadelphia, PA 19102-9479. If the Court approves the Settlement, at a later date, payments from the Settlement Fund will be distributed, on a pro rata basis based on the amount of CISP you bought directly from Defendants, to Settlement Class Members who submitted valid and timely claims. There are specialized companies, which the Court has not authorized to contact you, that may contact you and offer to fill in and file your claim in return for a percentage of your claim’s value. Before you contract with one of these companies, you can always seek help from the Claims Administrator or Settlement Class Counsel, without charge, in filing your Claim.
If you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue Defendants about the legal issues in this case, then you must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class. If you exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you will not get any payment from the Settlement. To exclude yourself, you must send a letter, postmarked by February 13, 2017, saying that you want to be excluded from the Settlement. The Settlement Website has instructions about how to exclude yourself.
You can object to the Settlement, Plan of Allocation, or the request for attorneys’ fees, expenses, and incentive awards if you are a Settlement Class Member and have not excluded yourself. To object, you must send a letter to the Court, postmarked by May 3, 2017. Please see page 8 of the Notice.
If you do nothing, you will not receive payment, you will remain in the Settlement Class, and you will be bound by the releases regarding the claims in this case, the terms of which appear in Paragraphs 35-38 of the Settlement Agreement. The only way to qualify for a payment from the Settlement is to send in a Claim Form.
The Court appointed Solomon B. Cera of Cera LLP, Kit A. Pierson of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and Robert N. Kaplan of Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP as Settlement Class Counsel to represent the Settlement Class. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. Settlement Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve from the Settlement Fund an award of 331/3% of the Settlement Fund (which is $9,999,000) for attorneys’ fees, as well as reimbursement from the Settlement Fund, not to exceed $2,000,000, for Settlement Class Counsel’s out-of-pocket costs and expenses incurred in the prosecution of the lawsuit. Settlement Class Counsel will also seek incentive awards of no more than $50,000 for each of the three class representatives. The request for attorneys’ fees, expenses, and incentive awards will be on the Settlement Website once it is filed with the Court.
The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing to decide whether to approve the terms of the Settlement at 9 a.m. on May 23, 2017, at the U.S. Courthouse, 900 Georgia Ave., Chattanooga, Tenn. If there are objections or comments, the Court will consider them but may still approve the Settlement. You may appear at the hearing, but you are not required to do so. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without notice, so periodically check this website for any updates.