Wolf Haldenstein Obtains $15 Million Settlement for Indirect Purchasers of Viega ProPress® Copper Press Fittings
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP is pleased to announce the settlement of the antitrust litigation on behalf of consumers of Viega ProPress® copper press fittings obtained from wholesale distributors. On September 18, 2020, a United States District Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania preliminarily approved the $15 million settlement resolving consumer antitrust claims. The antitrust action alleged that Viega, since 2015, had made wholesaler/distributor access to its carbon steel press fittings contingent upon distributor agreements not to sell Viega’s competitors’ copper press fittings and charged higher prices to distributors that stocked competitor press fittings. It was further alleged this caused plumbers, who purchased indirectly from wholesalers, to pay more for Viega ProPress® copper press fittings. The action asserted violations of the Sherman and Clayton Acts, as well as violations of the antitrust and consumer protection laws in 26 states whose laws permit indirect purchasers to bring claims for violation of the antitrust laws.
The settlement is on behalf of two classes of indirect purchasers of Viega ProPress® copper press fittings. First, prospective injunctive relief requiring changes to Viega’s forward-looking business practices and pricing policies was obtained on behalf of a nationwide class comprising of all indirect purchasers of Viega ProPress® copper press fittings sold by wholesale distributors in the United States during January 29, 2015 to September 19, 2020. Second, a cash settlement and rebate program was obtained for all indirect purchasers of Viega ProPress® copper press fittings sold by wholesale distributors in, or made from a purchaser’s principal place of business located within, the states of Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia during the Class Period of January 29, 2015 to September 19, 2020, subject to certain exclusions.
Wolf Haldenstein serves as co-lead counsel for the consumers in the litigation.
Additional information about the settlement is available here.