$19M deal leaves 3 price-fixing defendants

April 25, 2008

After negotiating a $19 million settlement with Illinois-based Southfield Corp., class-action attorneys are pressing ahead with claims against three other concrete companies accused of price fixing that so far have not agreed to a deal.

The civil case is an outgrowth of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation several years ago that found local concrete companies colluded to set prices on ready-mix concrete sold throughout central Indiana.

Three firms now have reached settlements in the case, collectively agreeing to pay more than $24 million. Attorneys filed papers this week in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis disclosing the Southfield pact.

The firms that have not settled are Greenfield-based Irving Materials, Fishers-based Builder's Concrete & Supply and Noblesville-based Beaver Materials.

"It's absolutely sad that corporate citizens like this would not want to do what was right for the customers they cheated," said Irwin Levin, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

Attorneys for the concrete companies had no immediate comment or could not be reached this morning.

Irving in 2005 agreed to pay a $29.2 million criminal fine under a plea agreement with the Department of Justice. It was one of the largest price-fixing fines in U.S. history.
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