Proposed $125 Million Settlement Reached in the Kitec Plumbing Class Actions

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WINDSOR and LONDON, Ontario, June 28, 2011 /CNW/ -- A proposed US$125 million settlement in the class actions commenced against IPEX Inc. and IPEX USA LLC ("IPEX") was announced today.

Counsel for the Plaintiffs in the Canadian actions Rosati, et al. v. IPEX USA LLC, et al. (Ontario) and Cooke, et al. v. IPEX Inc. (Quebec) and in the United States action In re: Kitec Plumbing System Products Liability Litigation (MDL-Texas) announced today that they have entered into an agreement to settle.

The settlement relates to Kitec Systems sold under various brand names including Kitec, PlumbBetter, IPEX, AQUA, WARMRITE, Kitec XPA, AmbioComfort, XPA, KERR Controls and Plomberie Amelioree. The Kitec System is a type of plumbing product, the components of which include Kitec fittings and Kitec pipe. The Kitec System was used for a variety of applications, including hot and cold water distribution in plumbing applications and radiant heating systems in homes, residences, buildings or other structures. The settlement covers class members throughout Canada and the United States.

The class actions allege that the Kitec System manufactured by IPEX may be subject to premature failure and otherwise may not perform in accordance with the reasonable expectations of users. IPEX denies these allegations and asserts that the Kitec System is not defective and that the vast majority of the systems will last throughout the warranty period. The parties have agreed to the settlement to avoid the expense, inconvenience and distraction of further protracted litigation and to fully resolve this matter.

The settlement agreement provides a Settlement Fund and Claims Process for those who file claims related to any structures they own, have owned, lease or have leased that contain a Kitec System. The amount to be paid per claimant depends upon the type and extent of any possible failure, the size and installation type of the Kitec System and the available funds in the Settlement Fund.

Because this is a class action settlement, it is subject to court approval. The settlement has been preliminarily approved by the courts in Ontario, Quebec and in the United States. The final approval hearings have been scheduled for November 17, 2011 in the United States, November 29, 2011 in Ontario and December 1, 2011 in Quebec, at which time the courts will be asked to determine whether the settlement is fair, reasonable and in the best interests of class members.

Potential class members have legal rights under the settlement: they must decide whether to stay in the class and obtain the settlement's benefits or, if they do not want to participate, they must opt out by September 30, 2011. If they do not opt out, they will be automatically bound by the terms of the settlement. If they want to stay in the class, they are not required to do anything at this time, although class members who want a distribution from the Settlement Fund must file a claim form by the claims deadline, which is eight years from the Effective Date of the settlement. The parties estimate the Effective Date will take place late this year or early next year, such that the claims period will likely end in 2019.

People who own or have owned or lease or have leased structures with the Kitec System and who believe they may qualify for a payment under this settlement can obtain additional information about the settlement online at www.kitecsettlement.com, by calling 1-877-337-1293 or by writing:

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    In Canada:                              In the United States:
    Canadian Kitec Claims Administrator     Kitec Claims Administrator
    633 Colbourne Street, Suite 300         PO Box 6001
    London, ON N6B 2V3                      Larkspur, CA 94977-6001


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The Canadian Class is represented by Charles Wright of Siskinds LLP (London), David Robins of Sutts, Strosberg, LLP (Windsor) and Simon Hebert of Siskinds Desmeules s.e.n.c.r.l. (Quebec City).

The United States Class is represented by Robert K. Shelquist of Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. (Minneapolis), Charles J. LaDuca of Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP (Washington, D.C.), Michael McShane of Audet & Partners, LLP (San Francisco), Michael Ram of Ram Olson (San Francisco), and Jeffrey B. Cereghino of Merrill Nomura & Molineaux LLP (Danville, CA).

In Canada, IPEX is represented by Benjamin Zarnett, Jessica Kimmel and Suzy Kauffman of Goodmans LLP (Toronto), and Christopher Richter of Woods LLP (Montreal). In the United States, IPEX is represented by Richard L. Josephson and Van H. Beckwith of Baker Botts, LLP (Houston and Dallas).

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    For Further Information:
    For Canadian Class Plaintiffs:         For IPEX:
    David Robins                           Van H. Beckwith
    Sutts, Strosberg LLP                   Baker Botts, LLP
    251 Goyeau Street, Suite 600           2001 Ross Avenue, Suite 600
    Windsor, Ontario N9A 6V4               Dallas, Texas 75201
    Tel: 519.561.6211                      Tel: 214.953.6505
    Email: drobins@strosbergco.com         Email: van.beckwith@bakerbotts.com





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SOURCE IPEX Inc.

For further information: Web Site: http://www.kitecsettlement.com

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