In April, 2010, a price-fixing class action lawsuit was filed by two businesses against Defendants E.I Dupont De Nemours and Co., Huntsman International LLC, Kronos Worldwide Inc., Millennium Inorganic Chemicals, Inc., and the National Titanium Dioxide Company Ltd., on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased titanium dioxide in the United States from one or more Defendants after March 1, 2002 through the present. The suit alleged that a cartel had been formed to artificially fix and raise prices of titanium dioxide in the United States in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1.
The class is defined to include Plaintiffs and all persons and entities who purchased titanium dioxide in the United States directly from one or more Defendants between March 1, 2002, through the present.
In March 2011, U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett denied Defendants’ motions to dismiss the case, giving plaintiffs’ attorneys the opportunity to move forward and prove their cartel price-fixing claims. “We look forward to proving at trial that the world’s largest manufacturers of titanium dioxide entered into a price-fixing conspiracy and obtained substantial relief under the federal antitrust law for the economic injuries the named plaintiffs and class members suffered as a result of the supracompetitive prices they paid to the members of the cartel,” said attorney Joseph R. Saveri.
On August 13, 2012, the Court heard Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification.
On August 28, Judge Bennett issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order certifying the class and appointing the Joseph Saveri Law Firm, Gold Bennett Cera & Sidener, LLP and Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein LLP as Co-Lead Counsel for the class.
On September 11, 2012, Defendants filed a Petition for Leave to Appeal Class Certification Order Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f). On September 24, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a Response, demonstrating that there was no basis to review Judge Bennett’s forty-seven page August 28, 2012 Order certifying the Class.
On November 14, 2012, the Fourth Circuit denied Defendants’ Petition for Review under Rule 23(f).
On November 27, 2012, the Court denied Defendants’ Motion to Amend Class Definition.
On April 4, 2013, the Court granted in part and denied in part Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification.
On July 29, 2013, Plaintiffs filed their motion for preliminary approval of the settlement with Defendant Huntsman International.
On August 13, 2013, Plaintiffs filed their motion for preliminary approval of the settlement with Defendant DuPont E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company International.
On August 15, 2013, the Court denied Defendants’ motions for summary judgment
On September 10, 2013, the Court granted Preliminary Approval to Settlements between the Class and Huntsman International, LLC, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Cristal USA Inc., and Kronos Worldwide, Inc. The Court’s order preliminary approves the $163.5 million proposed class Settlements. The Court approved the form of notice to the Class and set the hearing on final approval for November 25, 2013.
On December 13, 2013, the Court granted Final Approval to the above Settlements between the Class and each Defendant. The Court also granted Plaintiffs’ Motion for Attorneys’ Fees, Costs, and Incentive Awards for Class Representatives.
More information regarding the Settlements can be found at: www.tio2antitrustlitigation.com.