$23 Million Nationwide Settlement in Watts Water Toilet Line Connector Case In Which Saltz Mongeluzzi Served as Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel
PHILADELPHIA, PA – The following is being released by Watts Regulator Co. and Plaintiffs’ law firms, Saltz, Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, P.C.; Gustafson Gluek, PLLC; Hagens, Berman, Sobol, Shapiro, LLP; Fine, Kaplan, and Black, LLP; and Berman DeValerio, about the lawsuit Trabakoolas v. Watts Water Technologies, Inc., No. 3:12-CV-01172.
Watts Regulator Co. (“Watts”) and Plaintiffs announced a Settlement to resolve a nationwide class action lawsuit related to flexible hoses that connect a toilet to a home’s water supply. Plaintiffs alleged that the nut connecting these “toilet connectors” to the home’s water supply could fail due to defects in its design, causing leaks and property damage. “This class action settlement provides value and peace of mind to members of the Class,” said Simon Paris, lead counsel for the Class. The Class includes those that owned or leased a residence or other structure in the United States containing a toilet connector with coupling nuts made with acetal plastic that were designed, manufactured, and/or distributed by Watts between 1999 and July 2009.
“This agreement is important for our customers, as well as for the company,” said Dean Freeman, Watts’ CEO. “It allows us to help those customers who have actually experienced a leak, as well as customers whose connectors have worked perfectly, and it allows Watts to put more of its energy, time, and resources into continuing to make the best plumbing products.”
Freeman continued: “This was a difficult decision, because we believe that there is no defect in Watts’ toilet connectors. However, in the end, we concluded that prolonged litigation was not in the best interests of the company or its customers. Watts made a business decision, rather than a litigation decision.”
Paris further explained that if the Settlement is approved by the judge presiding over the matter in the Northern District of California, a fund will be established that will be distributed to eligible Watts’ customers in the Class. Customers who have experienced water damage from leaks will be able to make a claim to be reimbursed (from the fund) for up to 25% of their documented property damage. Customers whose connectors have not leaked may replace these Watts toilet connectors and file a claim to be reimbursed $4 for up to five Watts toilet connectors they replace. “We see this as a win for the Class who now can obtain monetary relief for property damage caused by Watts’ toilet connectors or prevent potential damage by replacing those toilet connectors while being reimbursed through this Settlement,” Paris stated.
The total Settlement amount of $23 million will pay class members for replacement of toilet connectors and reimbursement of water damage repairs, as detailed in the Settlement Agreement, and will cover notice, Settlement administration expenses, and attorneys’ fees and expenses as ordered by the Court. The Settlement is subject to court approval, which will be the subject of a hearing currently scheduled on July 16, 2014. Also, class members have until June 29, 2014 either to exclude themselves from the litigation or object to the Settlement.
For more information or to obtain a Claim Form, visit the Settlement website, www.ToiletConnector.com , or call 1-877-819-9632