Class Action Dilemmas: Pursuing Public Goals for Private Gain

By Deborah R. Hensler; Nicholas M. Pace et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter Fourteen POLYBUTYLENE PLUMBING PIPES LITIGATION: 1
COX v. SHELL OIL 2

PROLOGUE

Beginning in the late 1970s, polybutylene plastic plumbing systems -- touted as being cheaper and more durable than copper pipe systems -- were installed in new homes nationwide, particularly in the sunbelt states, which were experiencing a housing boom. Over the years, several million homes, many of them mobile homes, were built with polybutylene plumbing systems. 3 Before long, the plumbing systems began to experience failures of the fittings and of the pipe itself. Consumers nationwide attributed the failures to various causes, including inadequate design, defective manufacturing, improper installation, and degradation of the materials from chemicals in the drinking water. 4 More than ten years of litigation, and bankruptcy for one company, would follow, and hundreds of millions of dollars would be spent before reaching a final class action resolution.

In 1977, Shell Oil Company began manufacturing polybutylene resin -- the raw material for the pipes. Until it withdrew the product from the U.S. market in 1996, Shell was the sole manufacturer of polybutylene resin. Shell has continued to manufacture the resin, which has undergone modifications over the years, for overseas sales. Hoechst Celanese Corporation manufactures an acetal compound under the brand name Celcon that, until 1990, was used to manufacture fittings for the plastic plumbing systems. 5 DuPont manufactures a competing acetal product called Delrin that, from 1983 through 1988, was also used for manufacturing fittings. Both Celcon and Delrin were and continue to be used in a wide range of consumer products such as automotive components. United States Brass Corporation bought polybutylene resin from Shell and Celcon from Hoechst Celanese; it then designed and manufactured plumbing systems using the material, which it sold under the Qest brand name. Together, Shell and U.S. Brass conducted an advertising and sales campaign that established the market for the plastic plumbing systems. Vanguard Plastics, a com-

-375-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Class Action Dilemmas: Pursuing Public Goals for Private Gain
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 609

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.