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Hydrogen Peroxide

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Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a clear, colourless, inorganic liquid used primarily as a bleach or oxidizer. Hydrogen peroxide is sold in aqueous solutions, typically 35%, 50% or 70% by weight, in different grades or formulations specifically tailored for enhanced performance in a particular application of the product.

Background

Class action lawsuits have been ongoing in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec alleging that from January 1, 1994 to January 5, 2005, the defendants and senior executives of the corporate defendants participated in illegal and secretive meetings and made arrangements relating to price targets, specific price increases, and market share divisions for hydrogen peroxide.

New Settlement

A national settlement, totaling $3.25 million has been reached with FMC Corporation and FMC of Canada, Ltd. (collectively “FMC”), subject to court approval. The settlement funds (plus interest, less court-approved fees and expenses) are being held in trust for the benefit of settlement class members.

The FMC settlement approval motion will be heard before the Ontario Superior Court in London on January 18, 2019. At the January 18, 2019 hearing, the Ontario court will also be asked to approve a method for distributing the settlement funds to settlement class members across Canada.

If the FMC settlement is approved in Ontario, an Enforcement Order will be sought in the BC action. The Quebec action was previously discontinued as against FMC. Please click here to view a copy of the Quebec Discontinue Order. Approval of the FMC settlement in Ontario and a subsequent Enforcement Order in BC will resolve this class action in its entirety.

If the FMC settlement is approved by the Court, the proposed claims program for the benefit of settlement class members across Canada will commence shortly thereafter.

Copies of the notice material and Proposed Plan of Distribution may be viewed here:

Previous Settlements

Five settlements, totaling approximately $20.6 million, were previously reached as follows:

  • Solvay Chemicals Inc. and Solvay S.A. (collectively “Solvay”) ($2,700,000)
  • Evonik Degussa Corporation formerly Degussa Corporation, Evonik Degussa formerly Degussa A.G. and Evonik Degussa Canada Inc. formerly Degussa Canada Inc. (collectively “Degussa”) ($12,000,000)
  • Eka Chemicals, Inc., Eka Chemicals Canada Inc. and AkzoNobel Chemicals International B.V. (collectively “Akzo”) ($2,190,000)
  • Kemira OYJ and Kemira Chemicals Canada Inc. (collectively “Kemira) ($3,600,000)
  • Atofina Chemicals Inc., Arkema Inc., Arkema Canada Inc., and Arkema S.A. (collectively “Arkema”) ($100,000)

The deadline for applying for money from these previous settlements has passed. The Solvay, Degussa, Akzo, and Kemira settlement funds have been paid out to settlement class members. The Arkema settlement funds were applied against expenses incurred in the litigation with the Court’s approval.

Contested Litigation

In September 2009, the Ontario action was certified in respect of a national class defined as follows:

All persons in Canada (excluding the defendants and their subsidiaries, affiliates and predecessors) who purchased hydrogen peroxide, products containing hydrogen peroxide or products produced using hydrogen peroxide in Canada between January 1, 1994 and January 5, 2005.

The Defendants sought leave to appeal the certification decision and leave to appeal was denied in June 2010.

For details of the settlements, please visit www.hydrogenperoxideclassaction.ca.

Amendment to Class Definition

In October 2015, the Ontario court approved an amendment to the class definition that narrowed the class and excludes some former class members. The class is now defined as follows:

All persons in Canada (excluding the defendants and their subsidiaries, affiliates and predecessors) who purchased hydrogen peroxide directly from a manufacturer of hydrogen peroxide or through a distributor of hydrogen peroxide in Canada, between November 1, 1998 and December 31, 2003.

The amendment narrowed the class in two ways:

  1. It excludes those persons who purchased products containing or produced using hydrogen peroxide, and anyone who purchased hydrogen peroxide from retailers. Only persons who purchased hydrogen peroxide itself directly from a manufacturer of hydrogen peroxide or who purchased hydrogen peroxide from a chemical distributor remain in the Class.
  2. It also shortens the class period. The new start date is November 1, 1998 (instead of January 1, 1994), and the new end date is December 31, 2003 (instead of January 5, 2005). Persons who purchased hydrogen peroxide from January 1, 1994 to October 31, 1998 or from January 1, 2004 to January 5, 2005 are excluded from the Class.

The Order and Notices of the Amendment to the Class Definition may be viewed here:

Limitation Period

On January 13, 2016 the limitation period began to run for:

  • persons who purchased products containing or produced with hydrogen peroxide from January 1, 1994-January 5, 2005, or who purchased hydrogen peroxide but not from a defendant or chemical distributor; and
  • persons who purchased hydrogen peroxide from January 1, 1997 to October 31, 1998 and from January 1, 2004 to January 5, 2005.

For any other questions or further information concerning this action, please contact David Jones at 1-800-689-2322 or 604-689-7555, or email djones@cfmlawyers.ca.

Documents

New Settlement

Previous Settlements

Contested Litigation




Hydrogen Peroxide - Status Updates:

November 26, 2018

Hydrogen Peroxide National Settlement Approval - View

January 13, 2016

Hydrogen Peroxide Class Definition Amended - View

June 22, 2015

Notice of Hearing in Hydrogen Peroxide Class Action - View

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