Sworn Affidavit: JM Eagle Not at Fault for Burst Pipe

Dec 09, 2010, 09:43 ET from JM Eagle

Contingency-Fee Law Firm Ludicrously Claims the Contrary

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- JM Eagle, the world's largest manufacturer of plastic pipe, announced today that it obtained a sworn statement from a contractor who performs work for Calleguas Municipal Water District that a pipe break there was caused by an installation error, not a manufacturing defect. This development is the latest in a series of events that demonstrate the unraveling of the case initiated by a dishonest former employee who was terminated for soliciting a kickback from a customer.

"After years of experience in inspecting pipe, I was able to determine that the rupture that this pipe experienced was the result of installation error and not anything to do with the quality of the pipe," according to the contractor, who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation. "Specifically, the pipe had clearly been 'over stabbed,' meaning it was pushed past the insertion mark."

Phillips & Cohen, the plaintiff's counsel who filed suit against JM Eagle, specifically mentioned the broken pipe in Calleguas in a press release as a way to conceal its multiple setbacks in a court ruling earlier this week. The reference takes "spin" to a new level.

In the court ruling, the judge threw out most of Phillips & Cohen's claims, dismissed all of the claims of the states of New York and New Mexico and dismissed an entire class of claims, including those in which JM Eagle sold pipe to private developers who later deeded their developments -- subdivisions, for example -- to local governments.

Also, the judge saw through the veiled attempt to load up the complaint with extraneous and inappropriate complaints by states and local governments, and struck all of the "complaints in intervention," as well as denying the attempts of other local government entities to intervene in the lawsuit after the deadline at plaintiffs' counsel's prodding.

The judge sided with JM Eagle in ruling that gratuitous and objectionable references in the lawsuit to the nationality and ethnicity of the company's owners and employees be struck entirely. National civil rights groups, such as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, the Anti-Defamation League, and the NAACP, also protested such references as prejudicial and racially biased.

"These rulings significantly gut this bogus lawsuit," said Neal Gordon, JM Eagle's vice president of marketing.  "Phillips & Cohen's attempt to spin a victory out of an almost across-the-board defeat demonstrates again that they are operating with the same level of deception reflected in the filing of this lawsuit in the first place."

The release also notes four alleged statements by past employees of JM Eagle as part of a former federal government inquiry nearly four years ago, but neglects to mention that the company had already successfully refuted these statements to investigators.

"JM Eagle has sworn affidavits and documentation that directly contradict what was alleged," said Camilla Eng, general counsel for JM Eagle.  Earlier this year the company released one of those statements publicly. It is available to view and download at:


"It is ironic and somewhat pathetic that plaintiff's counsel seeks to bolster its meritless lawsuit by making selective references to an old U.S. Attorney file," Eng said.  "Particularly since it was this same investigation that ultimately led the federal government not to intervene in the case."

About JM Eagle

With 22 manufacturing plants throughout North America, JM Eagle manufactures the widest array of high-grade, high-performance polyvinyl chloride and high-density polyethylene pipe across a variety of industries and applications including utility, solvent weld, electrical conduit, natural gas, irrigation, potable water and sewage.