Potlatch settles OSB lawsuit

Potlatch has agreed to a $2.7 million settlement in a class action lawsuit against oriented strand board (OSB) producers. The Spokane, Wash., company announced the settlement, in which it admits no wrongdoing, as part of its first-quarter earnings.

In a statement, Potlatch said it settled the case “solely in order to avoid the further expense and burden of the ongoing litigation.”

The 2006 antitrust case alleges that OSB manufacturers began conspiring together in 2002 to artificially reduce the supply and inflate the prices of OSB. Three of the defendants have reached settlements so far: Huber Engineered Woods, Ainsworth and Georgia-Pacific. All have denied the accusations as part of their settlements.

Other companies named in the lawsuit include Weyerhaeuser, Louisiana-Pacific, Norbord Industries, Tolko Industries and Grant Forest Products.

Plaintiffs in the class action suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of Pennsylvania, represents lumberyards and millwork shops in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Georgia.