Dow to appeal $1.2 billion damages order

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered Dow Chemical Co. to pay $1.21 billion in damages after it lost a class-action lawsuit that accused it of conspiring to fix prices.

Dow says it will appeal.

The Feb. 20 jury verdict in federal court in Kansas City, Kan., was for Dow to pay $400 million in damages. The jury decided that Dow had participated in a price-fixing conspiracy for the chemical urethane, which is used in a wide variety of products.

Dow, based in Midland, Mich., had asked the judge for a new trial, and also to force the plaintiffs to try their cases individually. Both requests were denied. The final order by judge John W. Lungstrum filed on Wednesday includes a tripling of the jury verdict, as called for by U.S. antitrust law.

A statement from Dow said it believes that the jury's findings required that judgment should have been entered in the company's favor,

Dow noted that the same matter "was thoroughly investigated" by the Justice Department from 2005 through 2007, and that the company fully cooperated. The Justice Department closed the investigation in December 2007 without charges. "Consistent with the outcome in this earlier DOJ investigation, Dow should not be held liable in the civil case," the company said.

Dow shares fell 24 cents to close at $35.10.

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