Fishers company agrees to pay $5.5M in concrete case

April 6, 2010

The last defendant in a long-running concrete price-fixing lawsuit has agreed to pay $5.5 million in an out-of-court settlement that still needs the approval of a federal judge.

The agreement with Builder’s Concrete & Supply of Fishers will be submitted to the court for preliminary approval this week and likely will be finalized this summer, said Irwin Levin, managing partner of Cohen & Malad LLP, the lead law firm for the lawsuit plaintiffs.

The settlement brings the total recovery from seven companies in the case to more than $60 million, which will be shared by more than 5,000 plaintiffs who bought overpriced concrete.

What is unusual about the settlements, Levin said, is that every company involved in the class-action suit will receive the entire amount it overpaid in the price-fixing scheme.

“These are really historical settlements, because we are told that no anti-trust case in Indiana has ever returned 100 percent of the overcharge for claiming class members,” he said. “So we’re really proud.”

As part of the final settlement, Builder’s has agreed to pay the $5.5 million in installments of $1.1 million spread over five years, Levin said. If the company should miss a payment, plaintiffs automatically receive a judgment of $90 million.

The first checks from the settlements are expected to be mailed in May, Levin said.

The final settlement with Builder’s Concrete & Supply follows a federal judge’s decision last week to award Levin and his team additional attorney fees that drive the total take to nearly $18 million.

Judge Sarah Evans Barker signed off on the new fees after Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Co. opposed a request to award an additional $9.7 million in attorney fees, calling the amount excessive.

Duke, one of the plaintiffs in the antitrust class-action lawsuit, had complained that the lawyers who had waged the five-year fight on its behalf would walk away with too large a windfall.



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