HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A Settlement of a class action lawsuit affects you if you indirectly purchased Viega ProPress® copper press fittings sold by wholesale distributors in the United States between January 29, 2015 and September 18, 2020. The Settlement creates a Cash Settlement Fund and Rebate Program funds that will be distributed to affected indirect purchasers of these products. If you qualify, you may send in a Claim Form to ask for payment, and you may request a rebate from the Rebate Program. Or, you can exclude yourself from the Settlement or object.
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania authorized this notice. The Court will have a hearing to consider whether to approve the Settlement, so that the benefits may be paid.
You are a 'Class Member' if you purchased one or more Viega ProPress® copper press fittings from a wholesale distributer in the United States between January 29, 2015 and September 18, 2020.
What's this About?
The lawsuit claimed that Viega made wholesaler distributor access to its carbon steel press fittings contingent upon distributor agreements not to sell Viega's competitors' copper press fittings, and/or charged higher prices to distributors that stock competitor copper press fittings. The lawsuit alleged that this caused plumbers to pay more for Viega ProPress® copper press fittings. Viega denies all of the allegations, denies that it acted improperly or that its actions were unlawful or harmed anyone, and has asserted many defenses. The Settlement was reached to resolve the dispute and is not an admission of wrongdoing or an indication that any law was violated.
What Can You Get From The Settlement?
The $15 million Settlement includes a Cash Settlement Fund of $10 million and a Rebate Program of up to $5 million for Class Members who made purchases of Viega ProPress® copper press fittings from a wholesale distributor located in, or made from a purchaser's principal place of business located in: AL, AZ, CA, CT, IA, KS, MA, MI, MN, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NM, NV, NY, OR, RI, SD, TN, UT, VT, WI, WV, and the District of Columbia ("Multi-State Damages Subclass"). These states have antitrust or consumer protection laws that allow consumers to sue for damages for alleged antitrust violations. Payments from the Net Cash Settlement Fund to Class Members who are located in or who made purchases in these states will be a percentage of total purchases of Viega ProPress® copper press fittings during the class period, not to exceed 25% of the total purchase amount. Rebate payments distributed from the Rebate Program to Class Members who are located in or who made purchases of Viega ProPress® copper press fittings in these states will be 4% of purchases made during the Rebate Claims Period, capped at $500.
If your principal place of business is located outside of these states, or you made purchases of Viega ProPress® copper press fittings from a wholesale distributor outside of these states, you cannot make a claim for a settlement payment or rebate. However, as part of the settlement Viega has agreed to change, across the U.S., certain pricing policies that formed the basis for plaintiffs' claims, but which Viega denied were unlawful or caused any harm.
How Do You Get A Payment And Rebate?
A Plan of Allocation and Claim Forms for Settlement Payments or Rebate Payments can be found at www.PressFittingsSettlement.com. Claim Forms for payments from the Cash Settlement Fund are due by December 15, 2020. Claims for Rebate Program payments are separate: Viega will send an additional notice of the Rebate Program via email before Rebate Claim Forms are due to Class Members who have submitted Claim Forms for Settlement Payments. The Settlement website, www.PressFittingsSettlement.com, will also provide notice of when Rebate Claim Forms are due. To receive a payment or rebate, you will need to submit proof of the amount and prices paid for purchases of Viega ProPress® copper press fittings during the relevant Claims Period. Just call 1-866-977-1135 or visit www.PressFittingsSettlement.com for a detailed notice or for more information.
What Are Your Options?
If you don't want a payment or rebate, and you don't want to be legally bound by the Settlement, you must exclude yourself by November 30, 2020, or you won't be able to sue or continue to sue. If you exclude yourself, you can't get a payment or rebate from this Settlement. If you stay in the Class, you may comment on or object to the Settlement by November 30, 2020. The detailed notice describes how to exclude yourself, comment or object. The Court will hold a hearing in this case (Al's Discount Plumbing LLC et al. v. Viega LLC, Case No. 1:19-cv-00159) on December 17, 2020, to consider whether to approve the Settlement and attorneys' fees and expenses totaling no more than $4.5 million. You may appear at the hearing, but you don't have to. For more information, call 1-866-977-1135 or visit www.PressFittingsSettlement.com.
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SOURCE United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania