News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

August 29, 2008

Concarb Decision: Ominous Sign for US CB Industry?

Filed under: Carbon Black, Tire Recycling, Tires — Notch @ 2:49 pm

The August 25, 2008 edition of Rubber & Plastics News featured an editorial (subscription required) about the recent Continental Carbon verdict that sees the decision as an ominous sign for the US carbon black industry.

Concarb’s [Kim K.T.] Pan, who feels justice wasn’t served, warned that even a shred of evidence can elicit a lawsuit. “There’s no downside for them; it’s a lottery mentality, and all they have to do is hit on one of them to collect. It can happen to any company.”

Amen, say executives at various tire companies caught in the tire recall juggernaut that began with the Ford Explorer-Firestone SUV tire controversy of the early 1990s. One after another faced lawsuits as trial lawyers found the industry easy pickings. Settle rather than fight it out was the norm for the tire makers.

Now that one of the carbon black producers has been hit with a huge judgment, you can be sure that somewhere a law firm is nosing around, trying to find a similar case to pursue.

That’s how the game is played.

This issue of R&P News also included a Materials Update dedicated to carbon black. The update included five articles related to carbon black production and use:

  • Continental Carbon fights challenges in N.A.
  • Delta-Energy expands capacity in North Dakota
  • Sid Richardson touts SR401 grade carbon black
  • Cancarb makes upgrades to keep up with thermal black
  • A reinforcing agent used with virgin carbon black
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