WASHINGTON, Nov. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement is being issued by BOIES, SCHILLER & FLEXNER LLP and QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN, LLP regarding the In re Polyurethane Foam Antitrust Litigation.
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS ARE AFFECTED. PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY.
The Court has certified a class in a lawsuit, of which you could be a member. In so doing, the Court has not ruled on the underlying merits of any of the claims or defenses made by either side in this case. Additionally, Plaintiffs in this class action reached two separate settlements. The first is with Defendant Leggett & Platt, Incorporated ("Leggett & Platt"), and the second is with Defendants Carpenter Co., E. R. Carpenter, L.P., and Carpenter Holdings, Inc. (collectively, "Carpenter"). The Settlements are not evidence of whether or not the Certification Class will ultimately be successful on its claims, or whether or not the Defendants have participated in the conspiracy alleged by Plaintiffs. This Notice informs you of your rights in the lawsuit and proposed settlements.
What is this lawsuit about?
The lawsuit is known as In re Polyurethane Foam Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 10-md-2196, and is pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in Toledo. Direct purchasers of Flexible Polyurethane Foam allege that Defendants conspired to fix, raise, stabilize, or maintain the prices and allocate territories or customers of Flexible Polyurethane Foam, in violation of antitrust laws. As used herein, Flexible Polyurethane Foam includes both "slabstock" flexible polyurethane foam (also known as "block" foam), fabricated or converted foam products made from "slabstock" flexible polyurethane foam and carpet underlay (also known as "carpet cushion," "carpet pad" or "carpet padding") manufactured from polyurethane foam, but does not include "molded" foam (also known as "engineered" foam) or "rigid" foam (also known as "technical" foam). Important Court Documents containing more detailed allegations and additional descriptions of the uses and applications of Flexible Polyurethane Foam can be found at the Settlement Website: www.flexiblepolyurethanefoamsettlement.com.
Who are the Defendants?
The companies Plaintiffs sued are called Defendants. The settling Defendants are Leggett & Platt, Carpenter, Vitafoam, Inc. and Vitafoam Products Canada Limited, Domfoam International Inc. and Valle Foam Industries (1995) Inc. The non-settling Defendants are FFP Holdings LLC (formerly known as Flexible Foam Products, Inc.); FXI – Foamex Innovations, Inc.; Future Foam, Inc.; Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company; Mohawk Industries Inc.; Woodbridge Foam Corporation; Woodbridge Sales & Engineering, Inc.; Woodbridge Foam Fabricating, Inc.; Louis Carson; and David Carson.
The Court has stayed in favor of arbitration all claims from customers that directly purchased Flexible Polyurethane Foam (including carpet cushion or carpet underlay) directly from Mohawk Industries, Inc. or one of its subsidiaries (collectively "Mohawk") and had an arbitration agreement with Mohawk for those purchases. (See Court Order dated August 12, 2014, Docket No. 1311). As of now, if you have a contractual agreement to arbitrate disputes with Mohawk, you will need to arbitrate your direct claims against Mohawk. You may still litigate as part of the Certification Class, however, for damages, if any, that Mohawk caused you, except that you would only be able to collect those damages from the other non-settling Defendants if the Certification Class proves your claim at trial that Mohawk and the other non-settling Defendants conspired.
Who is a Class Member?
You are a Class Member of the Certification Class, the Leggett & Platt Direct Purchaser Settlement Class, and Carpenter Direct Purchaser Settlement Class if you are among:
All persons or entities that purchased flexible polyurethane foam (but excluding molded foam) directly from Defendants and/or their co-conspirators from January 1, 1999 to July 31, 2010 for purchase from or delivery into the United States. Excluded from the Class are governmental entities, Defendants, their co-conspirators, and their officers, employees, agents, representatives, parents, subsidiaries and affiliates.
What does the Leggett & Platt Settlement provide?
The Leggett & Platt Settlement is between Plaintiffs and Leggett & Platt only. Plaintiffs and Leggett & Platt Settlement Class Members will release Leggett & Platt from all pending claims and in exchange, Leggett & Platt has agreed: (i) to pay $39,800,000 to a fund to compensate Leggett & Platt Settlement Class Members; and (ii) to provide limited cooperation to Plaintiffs.
What does the Carpenter Settlement provide?
The Carpenter Settlement is between Plaintiffs and Carpenter only. Plaintiffs and Carpenter Settlement Class Members will release Carpenter from all pending claims and in exchange, Carpenter has agreed: (i) to pay $108,000,000 to a fund to compensate Carpenter Settlement Class Members; and (ii) to provide limited cooperation to Plaintiffs.
Settlement funds may be reduced by court-ordered attorneys' fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses, as approved by the Court. This may include administration of the Leggett & Platt Settlement and the Carpenter Settlement (collectively, "the Settlements"). The Certification Class, Leggett & Platt Settlement Class, and Carpenter Settlement Class are represented by William A. Isaacson of BOIES, SCHILLER & FLEXNER LLP and Stephen R. Neuwirth of QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN LLP. The motion by Class Counsel for attorneys' fees and costs and an incentive award for the Representative Plaintiffs will be available for viewing on the Settlement Website after it is filed. After that time, if you wish to review the motion or additional details on how funds will be allocated, you may do so by visiting www.flexiblepolyurethanefoamsettlement.com.
How do I receive a payment?
To receive a payment from either the Leggett & Platt Settlement or the Carpenter Settlement, you must submit a Claim Form. To request a Claim Form, you may visit www.flexiblepolyurethanefoamsettlement.com, or contact the Notice Administrator at 1-888-331-9196.
What are my rights and options?
Take no action - Certification Class: If you do nothing, and stay in the lawsuit, you will give up the right to sue the Defendants with respect to claims asserted or which could have been asserted based on the same or similar facts alleged in this case, and you will be bound by all orders the Court enters and any judgment reached in the case. If the Certification Class wins on its claims at trial or there is a settlement, you might receive benefits, provided you comply with the procedures that are established for claiming these benefits.
The Settlements - You also will receive the non-monetary benefits of the Settlements. You will give up the right to sue Leggett & Platt and Carpenter with respect to the claims asserted or which could have been asserted based on the same or similar facts alleged in this case. However, you may be eligible to receive a payment from the Settlements if you submit a timely Claim Form (by first-class mail postmarked by January 26, 2015, or pre-paid delivery service to be hand-delivered by January 26, 2015).
Exclude yourself - Certification Class: This is the only option that allows you to ever be part of any other lawsuit against the non-settling Defendants with respect to the claims asserted in this case. If you exclude yourself from the Certification Class, you will no longer be part of this lawsuit. If money or benefits are later awarded, you will receive none. Your written request should state that you want to be excluded from the Certification Class in In re Polyurethane Foam Antitrust Litigation, and comply with the requirements explained in the Long Form Notice, which is also available at the Settlement Website.
The Settlements - This is the only option that allows you to ever be a part of any other lawsuit against Leggett & Platt or Carpenter with respect to the claims asserted in this case. If you exclude yourself from either or both of the proposed Settlement Classes, you will not become a member of the Settlement Class(es) from which you exclude yourself. Your written request should specify the Settlement Class(es) from which you wish to be excluded, and comply with the requirements explained in the Long Form Notice available at the Settlement Website and be postmarked by January 26, 2015.
Object to the Leggett & Platt Settlement and/or the Carpenter Settlement - You may object to or otherwise comment on any term of the Settlements (including the request for attorneys' fees) by filing an objection in writing with the Court. Your objection must comply with the requirements explained in the Long Form Notice available at the Settlement Website and be postmarked by January 26, 2015.
When is the trial?
The Court has scheduled a trial date of March 31, 2015 for the case to proceed against the non-settling Defendants. You are not required to attend the trial. If you choose to do so, you have to attend the trial at your own expense. Class Counsel will present the case on behalf of the Certification Class. If the Certification Class obtains money or benefits as a result of the trial you will be notified. Please note that the Court may choose to change the dates and/or times of the trial. Please check the case website for any updates.
When is the Fairness Hearing?
The Court has scheduled a "Fairness Hearing" on February 3, 2015 at 10:00 a.m., at the following address: United States District Court, James M. Ashley and Thomas W. L. Ashley U.S. Courthouse, 1716 Spielbusch Avenue, Toledo, OH 43604.
The purpose of the Fairness Hearing is to determine whether the Settlements are fair, reasonable, and adequate, whether the Court should grant final approval of the Settlements, and whether the Court should enter a final Judgment of dismissal of the lawsuit as to Leggett & Platt and Carpenter with prejudice. The Court will also consider the motion for attorneys' fees. You do not need to attend this hearing. You or your own lawyer may attend the hearing if you wish, at your own expense. Class Members of the Settlement Classes are advised to check the Settlement Website for any updates.
Where do I get additional information?
This Notice is only a summary. For more detailed information concerning matters relating to the Settlement, you may wish to review documents available at www.flexiblepolyurethanefoamsettlement.com. You may also obtain more information by contacting the Notice Administrator at 1-888-331-9196, or In re Polyurethane Foam Antitrust Litigation, c/o GCG, P.O. Box 9907, Dublin, OH 43017-5807.
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT DEFENDANTS OR THE COURT FOR INFORMATION REGARDING THIS LAWSUIT.
SOURCE BOIES, SCHILLER & FLEXNER LLP and QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN, LLP