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Products Liability > Resolved Actions > Polybutylene Pipe

    Polybutylene Pipe
    Defective plastic pipes (polybutylene pipe) used in plumbing and radiant heating




    Siskinds is involved in an effort to seek compensation for individuals throughout Canada who have Polybutylene plumbing and/or heating systems.

    The problems pertain to a type of piping material which could leak and cause major problems in a home's plumbing and radiant heating systems.

    Our firm has launched a lawsuit against the 3 companies (Shell Oil, E.I. Dupont, and Hoescht Celanese Corporation) who are responsible for the defective plumbing and radiant heating system known as Polybutylene Plumbing - a system characterized by plastic pipes used in plumbing and radiant heating. In the United States numerous complaints and lawsuits have been filed against the same companies who developed key components of the problem piping. These companies have paid millions of dollars in settlements to United States homeowners.

    Identifying Polybutylene Pipe


    Polybutylene Pipe ("PB") is a non-rigid, sometimes curved, usually grey (or possibly silver or black) plastic pipe used in indoor plumbing.

    The fittings/joints connected to the PB pipe, such as elbow and tee-shaped joints can either be gray acetal/plastic inserts or copper/metal inserts.
     

    CELANESE SETTLEMENT
    We are pleased to advise that on June 14, 2010, a Settlement Agreement was reached with one of the Defendants, Hoescht Celanese Corporation ("Celanese") and the Plaintiffs in the Ontario action. Other defendants, E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company and Shell Oil Company have also previously settled.    

    New Update
    The deadline for filing a claim under the Settlement is May 11, 2012.

    To obtain a claim form, or for more information, visit www.pbcanada.info or call 1-877-605-2815.

    If you do not wish to participate in the Settlement, you may opt out by sending Written Notice to PB Canada Settlement, P.O. Box 869066, Plano, Texas 75086-9066 on or before March 23, 2012.

    Old/Past Updates
    For the Settlement Agreement to become effective, the Ontario Superior Court must certify the action as a class proceeding and approve the Settlement Agreement

    Location and Time of Hearing (Certification and Approval)
    September 10, 2010, at 10:00 a.m., at the courthouse at 361 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario  
     

    Signed Settlement Agreement (PDF File)


    SHELL SETTLEMENT
     
    We are pleased to advise that a Settlement Agreement has been reached with one of the Defendants, Shell Oil Company ("Shell"). Another defendant, E.I. Dupont de Nemours and Company has also previously settled.

    Settlement Class
    You are a member of the Shell settlement class if you are a past or present owner of a structure with either a PB Plumbing System, a PB Yard Service Line, or a PB Hot Water Heating System with either plastic or metal fittings

    Settlement Terms
    Under the terms of the Shell settlement, Shell will provides benefits to Settlement Class members in the amount of $20 million in settlement of class members' claims. The settlement amount (less costs of notice and claims administration) will be allocated among class members who timely file claims in accordance with a point system, subject to certain maximum limits. Eligible claimants will be entitled to receive compensation regardless of having expenses incurred in repairing or replacing a PB Plumbing System, PB Hot Water Heating System, PB Yard Service Line, or for damage to tangible property due to a Qualified Leak, or PB Related Failure. For a complete description of the points system and maximum dollar limits on claims, a copy of the Shell Settlement Agreement are posted at www.polypipes.ca or by calling the Claims Administrator at 1-866-348-0333.

    How to Make a Claim
    To make a claim for compensation, claimants must mail to the Claims Administrator, postmarked no later than June 18, 2005 a completed, executed Claim Form together with supporting documentation required by the Claim Form. A Claim Form and accompanying instructions can be obtained by contacting the Claims Administrator at www.polypipes.ca or by calling toll free at 1-866-348-0333.

    Opting Out of the Settlement
    If you are a person or entity that does not wish to take part in the Shell settlement, you may opt out (be excluded) from the Settlement by returning an Opt Out Form postmarked on or before August 11, 2004. An Opt Out Form may be obtained at www.polypipes.ca or by calling the Claims Administrator, toll free at 1-866-348-0333.

    Signed Settlement Agreement (Shell) (PDF Format) - [Version Français]

    Legal Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval (Shell) (PDF Format) - [Version Français]

    PRESS RELEASE (June 11, 2004) regarding Shell Settlement (PDF Format)

    Sample Photos of Polybutylene Pipe (PDF Format)


    Polybutylene Pipe Case Documents - Ontario

    Court Decision (PDF Format)

    Ontario Statement of Claim (PDF Format)

    Certification Decision
     

    On July 9, 2002, the Honourable Justice Nordheimer denied certification in Ontario against the defendants Shell Oil Company ("Shell") and Hoechst Celanese Corporation ("Celanese"), which means that it was found that this was not an appropriate case to proceed as a class action.

    Subsequent to the certification decision, the plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal with the Divisional Court, intending to appeal Justice Nordheimer's dismissal of the certification motion.

    Prior to the appeal however, the plaintiffs and Shell entered into a Settlement Agreement, which agreement was provisionally approved by the Court on December 23, 2003, subject to the parties obtaining an Order from the Divisional Court setting aside Justice Nordheimer's certification Order only in so far as that Order related to Shell. The parties successfully obtained such an Order and the Shell Settlement was finally approved in Ontario on April 16, 2004.

    We are in the process of appealing the certification decision as it relates to the remaining defendant, Celanese, to the Divisional Court of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

    Reasons of Justice Nordheimer dated July 9th 2002 (Certification denied - PDF Format)

    Reasons of Justice Nordheimer dated December 23rd 2003 (Shell provisional approval - PDF Format)

    Judgement of Justice Nordheimer dated April 16th 2004 (Shell final approval - PDF Format)

    DuPont Settlement

    We are pleased to report that a Settlement Agreement has been reached with one of the three defendants, E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company ("DuPont USA").

    As DuPont manufactured the raw material that is found in the acetal (plastic) insert fittings, only those persons with polybutylene plumbing and/or heating systems with acetal insert fittings will be affected by the settlement.

    Under the terms of the Dupont USA settlement, Dupont USA will provides benefits to Settlement Class members in the amount of $30 million. With respect to indoor plumbing, DuPont USA will pay successful claimants 25% of the cost of a replumb as well as 25% of the cost of previous repairs and damage provided a replumb is done. DuPont USA will also pay part of the cost of repair of a polybutylene heating system with acetal insert fittings. A copy of the complete Dupont USA Settlement and information about how to make a claim are posted at www.pbsettlement.ca and can also be obtained by calling the Claims Administrator, toll free at 1-866-599-4599.

    Opting Out of the Settlement
    If you are a person or entity that does not wish to take part in the Dupont USA settlement, you may opt out (be excluded) from the Settlement by returning an Opt Out Form postmarked on or before August 11, 2004. An Opt Out Form may be obtained at www.pbsettlement.ca or by calling the Claims Administrator, toll free at 866-599-4599.

    Legal Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval (PDF Format)


    If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Siskinds or e-mail Ruth Noble by clicking on the Contact Us link below.

    For Ontario Residents:
    Siskinds
    Barristers & Solicitors
    680 Waterloo Street
    London, ON N6A 3V8
    519-672-2251 ext. 2381

    For British Columbia Residents:
    Poyner Baxter
    Barristers & Solicitors
    Lonsdale Quay Plaza
    408 - 145 Chadwick Court
    North Vancouver, British Columbia V7M 3K1
    www.poynerbaxter.com

    For Quebec Residents:
    Siskinds, Desmeules
    Les Promenades du Vieux-Quebec
    43, rue Buade,
    Bureau 320
    Quebec City, Quebec G1R 4A2



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