Nation’s Capital and New York State File Formal Declinations in Lawsuit Against JM Eagle

March 2011

Suit Against Distinguished Pipe Manufacturer Continues to Collapse

The attorneys general of the State of New York and the District of Columbia recently joined a growing number of governmental entities in a qui tam case and filed motions with the court formally declining to intervene in a lawsuit against JM Eagle, the world’s largest plastic pipe manufacturer. The actions by the District and the State are just the latest in a series of developments that have wiped out any perceived credibility of the lawsuit filed on behalf of a fired ex-JM Eagle employee.

The complaint, filed by the plaintiff's private contingency-fee law firm Phillips & Cohen LLP, originally listed the District of Columbia, the U.S. government and 11 states as “real parties in interest” – a listing that essentially invited those entities to join, or “intervene,” in the lawsuit. Since that time, ten government entities have opted out of the case.

In an especially rare action in this type of litigation, two states have actually reversed their previous decisions and withdrawn their interventions in the lawsuit.

“It has become apparent that as entities take the time to learn more about this bogus case, they want nothing to do with it,” said Neal Gordon, JM Eagle’s vice president of marketing.

After a three-year investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice of the allegations involving JM Eagle’s products and quality-control processes, the federal government declined to intervene. Federal statistics show that 94 percent of these kinds of lawsuits are dismissed when the U.S. government chooses not to get involved.

“This case is collapsing,” said Gordon. “The state of New York and the District of Columbia have followed with the vast majority of governmental entities and decided not to be a party to this baseless lawsuit. These actions are a clear representation of what we have said all along, this case has absolutely no merit.”