Robbie Hargett Jan. 5, 2016, 6:53pm

MINNEAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) – An Alabama water authority is suing several manufacturers of liquid aluminum sulfate (alum) over claims of a conspiracy to fix prices of the chemical.

Mobile Area Water and Sewer System (MAWSS), individually and for all others similarly situated, filed a class-action lawsuit Dec. 23 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota against Hawkins Inc., Frank A. Reichl, General Chemical Corp., General Chemical Performance Products, GenTek Inc., Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund, Chemtrade Logistics, GEO Specialty Chemicals, C&S Chemicals, USALCO LLC, Thatcher Group, Kemira Chemicals, Southern Ionics and John Does 1-50, alleging antitrust injury, fraudulent concealment, and violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

The defendants manufacture and distribute alum–a chemical that functions as a coagulant, flocculant, precipitant, and emulsion breaker–to municipalities to treat potable water and wastewater, as well as to other entities to for various other purposes.

The suit states the defendants participated in a long-running conspiracy to rig bids, allocate customers and artificially fix, raise, stabilize and/or maintain prices of alum sold in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Justice has an active and ongoing investigation into the defendants' conspiratorial conduct, according to the suit.

This suit is brought so that MAWSS and others who purchased alum from the defendants from Jan. 1, 1997, to July 31, 2010, may seek to recover damages.

MAWSS and others in the class seek damages and other monetary relief, interests, attorney fees and other costs of the suit. It is represented by attorney Janet C. Evans of Gray Plant Mooty Mooty & Bennett in Minneapolis; attorneys Brian R. Strange and Morvareed Z. Salehpour of Strange & Butler in Los Angeles; attorneys James E. Atchison and Donald G. Beebe of The Atchison Firm in Mobile, Alabama; attorney M. Stephen Dampier of The Dampier Law Firm in Fairhope, Alabama; and attorney R. Edward Massey Jr. of Clay Massey & Associates in Mobile, Alabama.

U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota Case number 0:15-CV-04498-ADM-JJK

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Organizations in this Story

Mobile Area Water and Sewer System
1060 Spring Hill Avenue
Mobile, AL 36604

Hawkins Inc
2381 Rosegate
Roseville, MN 55113

General Chemical Corp
12336 Emerson Drive
Brighton, MI 48116

GenTek Inc
90 East Halsey Road
Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ 07054

Chemtrade Logistics
155 Gordon Baker Road
Toronto, ON M2H

GEO Specialty Chemicals
340 Mathers Road Ambler, PA 19002

C&S Chemicals
4180 Providence Road
Marietta, GA 30062

2601 Cannery Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21226

Thatcher Technology Group
55 Shuman Boulevard
Naperville, IL 60563

Kemira Chemicals
321 Welland Avenue
Saint Catharines, ON L2R 2R2

Southern Ionics
1724 Lumpkin Road
Augusta, GA 30906

Gray Plant Mooty & Bennett
80 South 8th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Strange & Butler
12100 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025

The Atchison Firm
3030 Knollwood Drive
Mobile, AL 36693

Dampier Law Firm
55 North Section Street
Fairhope, AL 36532

Clay, Massey & Associates, P.C
509 Church Street
Mobile, AL 36602

U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20530

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