Dow Chemical settles case citing Supreme Court uncertainty

MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) — Dow Chemical says it will pay $835 million to settle a long-standing class action lawsuit, after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia decreased its chances of prevailing at the Supreme Court.

The company was found liable in 2013 by a Kansas jury of allegedly conspiring to fix prices for polyurethane, an industrial chemical used in everything from packaging to car interiors. The judgment dealt with the alleged company actions between 2000 and 2003. Dow had petitioned the Supreme Court to reconsider the judgment.

But the company said Friday the court's current lineup has "increased the likelihood for unfavorable outcomes for business involved in class action suits."

Following Scalia's death earlier this month, the court is now evenly split 4-4 between justices who are usually conservative and those who are liberal. President Barack Obama says he will nominate a replacement, but Senate Republicans have vowed to neither hold hearings nor vote on his pick.

Dow said the settlement would benefit shareholders.

"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," the company said in a statement.

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