Toledo, Ohio -- A cartel of flexible foam firms involved in a long-running price fixing trial were forced to make a $151m settlement to indirect purchasers - less than a third of potential consumer claims against them.
Carpenter’s total settlement figure was set at $63,500,000; FFP Holdings’ at $2.75m; Future Foams’ at $10.5m; FXI Holdings’ $9.5m; Hickory Springs’ at $10.25m; Leggett & Platt’s at $26.5m; Mohawk Industries’ at $16m; Vitafoam’s at $2.750m and Woodbridge Foam’s was $9.5m.
The figure, which was granted preliminary approval following two hearings in mid-2015, was approved by Judge Jack Zouhary at the end of January, 2016. Initially, in June 2015, plaintiffs excluding FFP Holdings, FXI Holdings and Future Foam, agreed a settlement of $128.4m, as reported at UTECH-polyurethane.com.
The following month, FFP Holdings, FXI Holdings and Future Foam agreed to pay $22.25m to settle the dispute.
Judge Zouhary said the final settlement figure fell short of the actual cost to consumers – who would, he said, “very likely ultimately receive less than 20% (maybe less than 10%) of the value of their claim.”
He said: “Figures reveal the total value of claims made so far ($465.9m) already exceeds the total value of potential settlement funds, and also that the value of claims made for each category (carpet, bedding and furniture) exceed, respectively, the total value of potential settlement funds for each category.”
End purchasers of bedding can claim against $55.8m, nearly 40% of the total. The court has made $46.4 (around 31% of the total) available to consumers of carpet padding that fell under the cartel with the remaining $48.8m (32% of the total) available to claimants who bought furniture at prices inflated by the firms’ antitrust actions.
In May 2015, six foam manufacturers agreed to pay nearly $276m to settle direct purchasers’ class action suit, as UTECH-polyurethane.com reported at the time.