Dow Chemicals this week settled a billion-dollar lawsuit after determining, essentially, that it had no chance in front of a Supreme Court without Antonin Scalia.
Dow was challenging a 2013 order that required it to pay $1.06 billion as part of an antitrust suit concerning the sale of urethanes. (The company was accused of price fixing with four other companies but refused to admit liability; the other companies settled for a collective $135 million.)
But Dow, which was set to argue before the Supreme Court once the Court had decided a similar case, dropped its appeal today and settled with the plaintiffs in the case for $835 million. What inspired this change of heart? According to Bloomberg, it was the death of Scalia.
Scalia, of course, was not exactly a fan of class actions. Which is great news for the plaintiffs and terrible news for Dow, which was hoping the Court should reduce the award as part of a referendum on class action suits.
But alas, big plaintiff won this round.
“Growing political uncertainties due to recent events with the Supreme Court and increased likelihood for unfavorable outcomes for business involved in class-action suits have changed Dow’s risk assessment of the situation,” the company said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.