On September 7, 2010, Birka-White Law Offices and Farella Braun + Martel, filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against JM Eagle on behalf of private water utilities and commercial property owners potentially seeking hundreds of millions of dollars for knowingly supplying substandard polyvinyl chloride (“PVC”) pipe for the transmission of water for fire hydrant systems, building fire suppression systems, potable water systems, and other applications.
The class-action lawsuit alleges that from at least 1997 through at least January 1, 2009, the majority of the PVC pipe manufactured and sold by J-M Manufacturing Company, Inc. (JM Eagle’s corporate predecessor), was below the minimum strength required by applicable industry standards.
The lawsuit also alleges that JM Eagle further deceived its customers by cherry-picking pipe samples for testing by outside certification agencies such as Underwriters Laboratories and NSF International, while continuing in its day-to-day operations using a cheaper manufacturing process that produced weaker pipes, but enabled the company to increase its profits.
The scope and potential damages associated with the deficient pipe are significant. JM Eagle is the largest PVC pipe manufacturer with annual revenue of $1.6 billion on sales of over 1 billion feet of pipe representing a significant market share.
The case is currently pending before the Honorable George H. Wu in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Case No. 2:10-CV-06638 GW(PJWx). Click here for a copy of the complaint.
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