Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. announced that it and its wholly owned subsidiary PCS Sales (USA) Inc. have settled eight private antitrust lawsuits, which were filed by direct and indirect purchasers of potash in the United States in U.S. federal courts in 2008, for a total of $43.75 million. The settlements are subject to final approval of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. PotashCorp expressly denies any wrong-doing but decided to settle after weighing the multi-year financial cost and resources that would be required to defend these meritless allegations. The other potash producers who were defendants in these cases also have settled with the plaintiffs.
“These allegations are completely without merit and we deny all of the claims asserted in the lawsuit,” said Bill Doyle, president and CEO for PotashCorp. “The reality is that we weighed the multi-year effort in time and resources that would have been required to defend this lawsuit, and determined that our management should remain focused on the production of potash and serving our customers. This settlement serves as another example of the well documented abuse of class actions in the United States where self-interested plaintiffs’ attorneys enlist nominal plaintiffs – some of whom have served in that capacity in multiple class actions – to assert meritless claims in lawsuits where neither the plaintiffs’ lawyers nor their clients have anything to lose but in which defendants face the enormous burden, distraction and expense of litigation even though we did nothing wrong. This is simply a wasteful and unnecessary cost of doing business in the United States.”