On May 10, 2007 the McPherson County District Court ruled, over defendants’ objection, that this lawsuit may be maintained as a class action for: “All persons and entities that own residential real property in Georgia, Kansas, Oklahoma and South Carolina in which Vanguard polybutylene plumbing containing resin manufactured by Mitsui Plastics, Inc. (a/k/a M-Pipe) was installed between July 1, 1992 and December 31, 1995. Excluded from the class are 1) claims for personal injury by the class members; and 2) defendants and any parent subsidiary, affiliate, or controlled person of any defendants, the officers, directors, agents, servants, or employees of the defendants, and the members of the immediate families of any such person.”
After more than 10 years of litigation, the parties, through mediation in a bankruptcy court proceeding, have agreed to resolve this matter by defendants’ agreement to pay $1,731,254 into a class settlement fund to pay qualifying class member’s, court approved reasonable expenses and attorneys’ fees not to exceed 1/3 of the class settlement fund, incentive awards to the class representatives not to exceed 2% of the class settlement fund, class notice and claims administration expenses.
(a) Send in a Claim to be paid. If you are a member of the settlement class and wish to receive benefits under the settlement you must contact the Claims Administrator - Vanguard M Pipe Settlement at P.O. Box 869066, Plano, TX 75086-9066, (855) 684-6180 or visit the Vanguard Class Settlement website at www.VanguardMPipeSettlement.com . If, and to the extent, the Vanguard Class Settlement is approved, members of the settlement class who submit valid claim forms (download here) will receive benefits. The Claim Form is available at the website www.VanguardMPipeSettlement.com . Your share of the fund will depend on the number of valid claim forms the settlement class members send in. Your interests as a member of the settlement class, will be represented by the class representatives and class counsel without charge to you. If you are a member of the settlement class, you will be releasing your claims against the Vanguard entities. That means you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against the Vanguard entities regarding the legal issues in the action. It also means that all of the Court Orders will apply to you and legally bind you.
(b) You can request exclusion from the settlement. NOTE: Deadline of February 17, 2012 has passed. If you do not want a payment from the settlement but rather want to keep the right to sue the Vanguard entities or continue to sue the Vanguard entities on your own about legal issues in this case, then you must take certain steps. This is called excluding yourself from the Vanguard Settlement Class or opting out of the settlement class. To exclude yourself from the Vanguard Class Settlement you must send a letter by mail stating that you want to be excluded from the Dragon v. Vanguard settlement. The request must include:
1) Your full name;
2) Your current address and phone number;
3) Your signature; and
4) A specific statement that you want to be excluded from the settlement class.
The request for exclusion must be sent by First Class Mail postmarked on or before February 17, 2012, addressed to Claims Administrator - Vanguard M Pipe Settlement, P.O. Box 869066, Plano, TX 75086-9066. If the request is not postmarked on or before February 17, 2012 the request for exclusion will be invalid and the person, corporation or entity making the request will be included in the settlement.
(c) You can object to the proposed Vanguard Class Settlement. NOTE: Deadline of February 17, 2012 has passed. If you are a settlement class member, you can object to the settlement if you do not like any part of it. If you wish to file objections with the court, you must submit them in a written document that states all objections in detail including all facts and legal authorities to support your objection. The objections must be filed on or before February 17, 2012, with the Clerk of the District Court for McPherson County, Kansas at 117 N. Maple Street, P.O. Box 425, McPherson, Kansas 67460-0425. You must also serve your objections with a Notice of Intent to Appear at the hearing on class counsel and counsel for the Vanguard entities so that they are received by class counsel and the Vanguard entities by no later than February 17, 2012. The address for class counsel is Rex Sharp, GUNDERSON, SHARP & WALKE, 5301 West 75th Street, Prairie Village, KS 66208. The address for Vanguard Counsel is William H. Seiler, Jr., Esq., VANGUARD PLASTICS, INC., 315 N. Charles Street, McPherson, KS 67460. Any settlement class member who does not file and serve objections in the time and manner described above and attend the final approval hearing will not be permitted to raise those objections later.
The hearing to consider final approval of the proposed Vanguard Class Settlement was held on March 12, 2012. At that hearing, the court approved the settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate.
All questions about this notice, the class action, or the proposed settlement should be directed to class counsel or the claims administrator. Please do not contact the court for information.
Click the links below to view pictures of the M Pipe product.