Scalia's death prompts Dow Chemical to settle class-action lawsuit

Scalia's death prompts Dow Chemical to settle class-action lawsuit

Dow Chemical on Friday settled a class-action lawsuit for $835 million, citing the uncertainty at the Supreme Court following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

“Growing political uncertainties due to recent events within the Supreme Court and increased likelihood for unfavorable outcomes for business involved in class action suits have changed Dow’s risk assessment of the situation,” the company said in a news release.

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“Dow believes this settlement is the right decision for the company and our shareholders.”

Dow, which is in the midst of merging with Dupont, had appealed to the Supreme Court after a federal jury found it guilty of conspiring to inflate polyurethane prices, Reuters reported.

The company argued in its petition to the Supreme Court that the $1.06 billion judgment violated class-action laws in multiple ways and should be set aside.

But due to Scalia's death, the court now has only eight members, creating the likelihood that many cases will end in a 4-4 tie. Dow avoids that possibility with the settlement.

“While Dow is settling this case, it continues to strongly believe that it was not part of any conspiracy and the judgment was fundamentally flawed as a matter of class action law,” continued the company’s statement.

“Further, the judgment covered alleged legacy activity between 2000 and 2003. Dow cooperated with an extensive investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, which closed its investigation in 2007 without taking any or proposing any action against Dow.”