ABS Pipes

Result: $70 million settlement
Year: 1998

ABS pipe is rigid, black, non-pressurized plastic pipe used to drain sinks, tubs, showers, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers commonly used in residential construction as waste, drain, and vent pipe. In the ABS pipe class actions, we represented plaintiffs who alleged that, during certain periods of time between the years 1984 and 1990, ABS pipe manufactured by Polaris Pipe Co., Gable Plastics, Inc., Centaur Mfg., Inc., dba Phoenix Extrusion Co., and Apache Plastics, Inc. contained plastic resin that could cause the ABS pipe to crack and ultimately leak.

Each manufacturer used allegedly unsuitable resin during different periods. Plaintiffs claimed that this allegedly defective ABS pipe could crack circumferentially at the glue line where the pipe was cemented into the socket of the fitting, and that such cracks could ultimately result in leaks. Plaintiffs sought relief in the litigation based upon claims for strict liability and negligence.

On January 16, 1998, the Contra Costa County, California Superior Court granted preliminary approval to eight class action settlements valued at approximately $70 million. On May 14, 1998, Judge Simons granted final approval to all eight settlements, finding them to be fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the class members.

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