Frequently Asked Questions
A “Class Action” is a lawsuit that is filed on behalf of all individuals or entities that may have been similarly affected by the allegations brought before the Court. In a class action, if the Court approves a settlement, the Settlement Class Members share in any benefits provided by the Settlement and are bound by the terms of the Settlement Agreement.
CSST is used to transmit gas in residential, commercial and industrial structures. CSST consists of a continuous, flexible, stainless steel pipe, and typically is covered with a yellow exterior plastic coating. In the case of one of the products manufactured by OmegaFlex, called “COUNTERSTRIKE,” the product is covered with a black exterior coating with yellow lettering. CSST typically is routed beneath, through and alongside floor joists, inside interior wall cavities and on top of ceiling joists in attic space from a gas source to an appliance. CSST does not include gas-appliance connectors (e.g., a connector that runs from a gas outlet to an appliance). Titeflex's CSST product is known as “GASTITE,” Ward's CSST product is known as “WARDFLEX,” OmegaFlex’s CSST is known as “TRACPIPE” or “COUNTERSTRIKE,” and Parker Hannifin’s CSST product is known as “PARFLEX.”
The lawsuit claims that CSST poses an unreasonable risk of fire due to lightning strikes. Plaintiffs allege that the CSST tubing is not thick enough to prevent damage to the CSST in the event of a lightning strike and that Defendants failed to warn consumers about these alleged dangers.

The Settling Defendants deny these allegations and assert that their CSST is safe if properly installed in accordance with local codes and the manufacturers’ instructions.
Typically, these products may be visible along floor joists, above basements, in attic spaces, or connected to exposed appliances such as water heaters. The piping should be stamped with a manufacturer’s mark. Click here to see examples of the Settling Defendants’ products.
Yes. The CSST installed on your property may have been manufactured by Titeflex, Ward, OmegaFlex, or Parker Hannifin.

Titeflex's CSST is stamped with the mark “GASTITE.”

Ward's CSST is stamped with the mark “WARDFLEX.”

OmegaFlex's CSST is stamped with the marks “TRACPIPE” or “COUNTERSTRIKE.”

Parker Hannifin's CSST is stamped with the mark “PARFLEX.”
The Settlement Class consists of any and all persons and/or entities who own structures in the United States in which CSST manufactured by Settling Defendants was installed as of September 5, 2006 (“Settlement Class Members”).

The following persons are excluded from the Settlement Class: a) persons and/or entities who timely opt-out of this proceeding following the directions for opting-out established by the Court; b) any and all federal, state, and/or local governments, including, but not limited to, their departments, agencies, divisions, bureaus, boards, sections, groups, counsels and/or subdivisions; c) any currently sitting Arkansas state court judges and/or justices and/or any persons within the third degree of consanguinity (blood relationship) to such judges and/or justices; d) Settling Defendants; e) Plaintiffs’ Counsel and their immediate families; and f) any person or entity who as of September 5, 2006, has an individual personal injury, product liability or subrogation lawsuit pending against any of the Settling Defendants in which injury or damage is alleged to have occurred as a result of a failure of CSST resulting from an actual or near lightning strike.
The Proposed Settlement provides Payment Vouchers for Settlement Class Members who qualify for relief. These Vouchers defray the costs of buying and installing a lightning protection system or completing the bonding and grounding of certain systems in a structure.

Settlement Class Members who have CSST manufactured by Settling Defendants will be entitled to a Payment Voucher that can be used either toward the installation of a Lightning Protection System or for the completion of Bonding and Grounding. Payment Voucher values range from $200 to $2,000 for the installation of a Lightning Protection System to $75 to $160 for the completion of Bonding and Grounding. To determine what Lightning Density Zone the property is located in, visit the Find Your Lightning Density Zone page.
Section L of the Settlement Agreement requires the Defendants to make certain marketing changes. You may review details of these marketing changes here.
Class Counsel (Counsel for the Plaintiffs) are:
W. H. “Dub” Arnold
Attorney at Law
501 Crittenden
Arkadelphia, AR 71923

John Goodson
Matt Keil
Keil & Goodson P.A.
611 Pecan Street
Texarkana, AR 71854-5337
Cary Patterson
Michael Angelovich
Nix, Patterson & Roach
2900 St. Michael, Fifth Floor
Texarkana, TX 75503

Joel Fineberg
R. Dean Gresham
Law Offices of Joel M. Fineberg P.C.
3811 Turtle Creek Blvd. Suite 1900
Dallas, TX 75219
You are automatically a Settlement Class Member if you own a structure with CSST manufactured by Settling Defendants that was installed as of September 5, 2006 and are not among the categories of persons excluded from participation.

Your options as a Settlement Class Member:
  • To stay in the Settlement Class, Settlement Class Members do not have to do anything. Settlement Class Members who follow the claims procedures are eligible to receive the benefits of the Settlement; all Settlement Class Members who stay in the Settlement Class will be bound by the Court’s rulings and opinions in this Settlement and will have released certain claims against the Settling Defendants.
  • Settlement Class Members can write and ask to exclude themselves from the Settlement. If a Settlement Class Member excludes himself, he will not be able to file a claim, will not receive benefits from the Settlement, but will keep the right to sue the Defendants on his own about the claims in the Settlement Class.
  • If a Settlement Class Member does not exclude himself from the Settlement, he can appear and speak at the Fairness Hearing on his own or through his own lawyer by following certain procedures.
If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will receive none of the Settlement benefits, nor will you be bound by any terms approved by the Court.

The Request for Exclusion must be postmarked on or before January 8, 2007.

If you do not want to receive the benefits of the Settlement but want to keep the right to individually sue the Settling Defendants concerning the claims released in this case, then you must take steps to remove yourself from the Class. This is called excluding yourself from, or opting out of the Settlement Class. To be excluded from this lawsuit, you must personally sign and return the Request for Exclusion Form to the address listed on the Form.

The Request for Exclusion must be postmarked on or before January 8, 2007. You may not exclude yourself by leaving a phone message.

CSST Settlement Administrator
PO Box4349
Portland, OR 97208-4349
A Fairness Hearing will be held on February 1, 2007 before the Honorable John A. Thomas, 401 Clay, Arkadelphia, AR 71923. The Fairness Hearing will determine whether the Proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. The Hearing may be continued by the Court without further written notice.

At the Fairness Hearing, Settlement Class Members who did not exclude themselves may appear in person or by counsel (at his or her own expense) and be heard to the extent allowed by the Court in support of, or in opposition to, the fairness, reasonableness and adequacy of the Proposed Settlement Agreement.
On or before January 8, 2007, Settlement Class Members must file a notice of intent to appear at the February 1, 2007 Fairness Hearing.

Settlement Class Members must include in that filing a statement of all factual and legal grounds upon which the objection is based, together with sufficient proof that CSST exists in their property and that identifies the CSST manufacturer.

Sufficient proof may include: (a) a receipt or invoice that identifies the property and CSST manufacturer; and (b) a photograph of the manufacturer’s identifying mark on the CSST, together with a signed statement that the photograph was taken from the Objector’s Structure. Should you or your lawyer object, you must follow all Arkansas rules. If you object and the Court approves the Settlement anyway, you will be bound by the result.

Any such objection MUST be sent to all of the following:
Clerk for the Clark Circuit Court
401 Clay Street
Arkadelphia, AR 71923

John Goodson
KEIL & GOODSON P.A.
611 Pecan Street
Texarkana, AR 71854-5337

Scott T. Schutte
JENNER & BLOCK LLP
330 N. Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60611-7603
Robert B. Ellis
KIRKLAND & ELLIS
200 East Randolph Drive, 60th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601

J. Gordon Cooney, Jr.
MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS, L.L.P.
1701 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Robert Walker
JONES DAY
901 Lakeside Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114-1190
Settlement Class Members who do not exclude themselves from the Class automatically agree to “release” Titeflex, Ward, OmegaFlex and Parker Hannifin from certain claims. These “Released Claims” include all claims, demands, rights, liabilities and causes of action that were asserted or might have been asserted by the Settlement Class Members against the Settling Defendants, whether sounding in tort, contract, any state’s unfair competition or consumer protection law, or any other law of any state or jurisdiction, and whether for compensatory damages, economic damages, non-economic damages, restitution, penalties, attorneys’ fees or any other relief, so long as the claim, demand, right, liability, or cause of action constitutes, arises out of, relates to, or is in connection with:
the causes of action asserted against Settling Defendants in the Action, including, but not limited to, any and all claims that Settling Defendants are strictly liable, breached any warranties or that they misled the public, concealed dangers, were involved in a conspiracy, or otherwise violated any law whatsoever by designing, manufacturing, marketing, selling CSST or placing CSST into the stream of commerce;
any facts, transactions, events, policies, occurrences, acts, disclosures, statements, or omissions or failures to act, which were or could have been asserted as a basis of or in connection with any of the claims in the Action; or
all claims asserted or that could have been asserted by Plaintiffs in the Action that a member of the Settlement Class had or could have had against Settling Defendants with respect to CSST installed in their Property.

These Released Claims expressly include all claims that were or could have been brought against any person or entity in the chain of distribution of CSST designed, manufactured, marketed or sold by Settling Defendants, including but not limited to manufacturers, component suppliers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, sales representatives, installers, general contractors or subcontractors.

Released Claims do not include claims for damages as a result of an actual gas leak, including but not limited to claims for damages from fire, loss of property or the use of property or personal injury, nor is any release given by Settlement Class Members for such compensatory damage claims, nor would any bar exist for such compensatory damage claims by entry of a judgment of dismissal in the Action. In the event that a Settlement Class Member brings such a subsequent action against one or more Settling Defendant, any Settling Defendant may assert in response to those claims any and all defenses, including but not limited to comparative fault, contributory negligence, assumption of risk, exercise of reasonable care, laches or failure to mitigate damages. The viability of any defenses will be determined by the law that governs each such subsequent action, if any, brought against any Settling Defendant. The Settlement shall not be construed as a waiver of, or a determination of, the existence or availability of any defense.

Additional information regarding these released claims may be found on pages 5 and 6 of the Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement.
No. You will not have to appear in Court, nor will you have to give any testimony other than the facts you submit on your Claim Form.
Settlement Class Members who wish to make a claim must submit a Claim Form by September 5, 2007. The Claim Form, attached to the notice and available to be completed online, requests certain information, including the following:
  • The address and county of the property, as well as a clear photograph of the main structure; 
  • Photographic or otherwise sufficient proof that the CSST installed on your property was manufactured by one of the Settling Defendants;
  • The estimated square footage of the interior heated/air-conditioned portion of the property incorporating CSST;
  • A sworn verification that the Settling Class Member owns the property or otherwise has authority to install a Lightning Protection System or Bonding and Grounding; and 
  • A sworn verification that CSST was installed before September 5, 2006.

A Settlement Class Member who submits a proper Claim Form on time will be sent the following information and materials: one numbered Payment Voucher for a Lightning Protection system and one voucher for Bonding and Grounding. Vouchers will be pre-printed with the Settlement Class Member’s name, property address, and Payment Voucher amounts. The claimants will also receive additional information regarding how to use the Payment Voucher. Please note that payment vouchers cannot be sent until after the Settlement becomes final.   Please check the website or toll-free number periodically for updates regarding the status of the Settlement.

The amount, if any, to be paid under the Payment Voucher is subject to verification of, the presence of a Settling Defendant’s product, the square footage of the structure (in the case of a Lightning Protection System), proof of a Lightning Protection System installation and/or Bonding and Grounding pursuant to the terms of the Proposed Settlement, and proof of the cost of installation, all following installation of a Lightning Protection System or Bonding and Grounding. This information will be determined and reported by the Third-Party Vendor.
If you do not submit a timely Claim Form, you will not receive any of the Settlement benefits. Further, if you do not submit a Request for Exclusion, you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement even if you do not submit a claim.
Yes. The Court has approved the Settlement. The Effective Date of the Settlement is March 5, 2007.
Class Counsel believe, in light of the substantial benefits of the Proposed Settlement, balanced against the costs, risks and delay of continued litigation, the Proposed Settlement is in the best interests of the Class and is a fair, reasonable and adequate resolution of the lawsuit and of the issues it presents.
In addition to all other sums to be paid by Settling Defendants under the terms of the Proposed Settlement, Settling Defendants will pay to Class Counsel reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. Class Counsel will request a fee of no more than $29,200,000. Settling Defendants have agreed not to object to a fee request up to that amount. No attorneys' fees will be deducted from the benefits paid to Settlement Class Members. Class Counsels’ request for fees will be considered by the Court at the Fairness Hearing scheduled for February 1, 2007.
The amount of the voucher, per claim, will be determined by criteria that are described in the “Payment Voucher Schedule,” that takes into account the remedy that you choose, the square footage of your property, as well as established data regarding the number of lightning flashes per square kilometer, each year, in your particular zone.

For Zone 1, an area with more than 8.0 flashes per square kilometer per year, the Settlement would provide a voucher of $1,000 towards the purchase and installation of a Lightning Protection System on property of less than 3,000 sq. ft. For property more than 3,000 sq. ft., the voucher would be $2,000. For those who choose the Bonding and Grounding Option, the voucher would be $160 towards the completion of the Bonding and Grounding.

For Zone 2, an area with 4.0 to 8.0 flashes per square kilometer per year; the Settlement would provide a voucher of $600 towards the purchase and installation of a Lightening Protection System on property of less than 3,000 sq. ft. For property more than 3,000 sq. ft., the voucher would be $1,200. For those who choose the Bonding and Grounding Option, the voucher would be $100 towards the completion of the Bonding and Grounding.

For Zone 3, an area with less than 4.0 flashes per square kilometer per year, the Settlement would provide a voucher of $200 towards the purchase and installation of a Lightening Protection System on property of less than 3,000 sq. ft. For property more than 3,000 sq. ft., the voucher would be $400. For those who choose the Bonding and Grounding Option, the voucher would be $75 towards the completion of the Bonding and Grounding.

To determine what Lightning Density Zone the property is located in, visit the Find Your Lightning Density Zone page.
The Claim Form provides that you submit a photograph or otherwise sufficient proof that CSST installed by one of the Settling Defendants is installed on the property. The TPV responsible for the installation of the LPS or Bonding and Grounding will confirm that you have an eligible product and submit proof in connection with the claim verification process.
The zone data is collated by county. To determine what zone the property is located in, visit the Find Your Lightning Density Zone page.
The Lightning Protection System will provide a measure of protection against lightning for your entire structure and many of its systems, including electrical, telephone, plumbing and gas-delivery systems. The Settling Defendants do not believe that a Lightning Protection System is necessary to render their CSST safe. They do agree, however, that such a system reduces the risks to the entire structure and many of its systems, including CSST.

Bonding and Grounding also reduces the risk of damage from a lightning strike. Bonding and Grounding consists of tying together certain systems in a structure that are likely to be energized by a lightning strike to reduce the differences in the so-called “potential” among those systems. This reduces the likelihood of potentially destructive electrical arcing among such systems. For many years, Settling Defendants’ Design and Installation Guides instructed that CSST must be Bonded and Grounded in accordance with applicable codes.
The Proposed Settlement Agreement provides the means for a Settlement Class Member to defray the cost of purchasing a Lightning Protection System or Bonding and Grounding.

Settlement Class Members may use Payment Vouchers to defray the cost of having the Third-Party Vendor install a Lightning Protection System or complete the Bonding and Grounding of certain systems in the structure. This Third-Party Vendor is not affiliated with the Settling Parties and was selected by Plaintiffs’ Counsel after a nationwide search. In addition, no party has a financial incentive for Settlement Class Members to use the Third-Party Vendor.

The amount of the Payment Voucher will vary depending on the lightning density (in flashes/square kilometer/year) in the county in which the structure is located and, in the case of a Lightning Protection System, the size of the structure.

The amount of the Payment Voucher is based on data regarding the relative risk of a lightning strike in the county in which the structure is located, as well as the size of the structure in which CSST was installed, as set forth in the Payment Voucher Schedule.

The Payment Voucher will be applied to the cost of the LPS or B&G. Costs of B&G can vary greatly depending on your structure and location and will be determined by the TPV as part of the Claims process. LPS costs can also vary, but the estimated cost of LPS can be found on the Pricing Matrix on the Claim Submission page. A Good Faith Estimate from the TPV will be provided as part of the Claims process.

To determine what zone the property is located in, visit the Find Your Lightning Density Zone page.
To have the property inspected each Settlement Class Member must complete the Claim Form. Once the Settlement Class Member submits the claim, the Administrator will verify the Claim Form and then arrange for the Third-Party Vendor to inspect the home or building to confirm:
  • That the home or structure contains the Settling Defendants’ CSST;
  • That the CSST is Bonded and Grounded; and
  • The approximate square-footage of the heated/air-conditioned structure.
There is no charge to you for the inspection.
Additional information on the Settlement, including a copy of the Settlement Agreement may be found on the Court Documents page. You may also contact the CSST Settlement Administrator through the following methods.
Call: 1-800-420-2916
Write:
CSST Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 4349
Portland, OR 97208-4349
Renters may not participate in the Settlement, but may contact the owner of their property who may participate in the Settlement.
The Settlement provides that each separate structure that contains CSST at a single mailing address may receive a separate payment voucher. If each unit in a development is a separate structure, it is eligible to receive a separate voucher. If there are multiple units in one structure, only one voucher may be issued. In multi-unit situations, please refer to the governing documentation for your structure to determine who has the legal authority to determine whether or not to participate in the Settlement. The Settlement identifies the Settlement Class Member as the person who has the legal authority to enter into a contract for the installation of a Lighting Protection System and Bonding and Grounding. For example, in a condominium, the governing documentation for that condominium might specify that the condominium Association has the authority to enter into such agreement. In that case, the Association would be the Settlement Class Member.
The Settlement provides that each separate structure that contains CSST at a single mailing address may receive a separate payment voucher. If each unit in a development is a separate structure, it is eligible to receive a separate voucher. If there are multiple units in one structure, only one voucher may be issued. In multi-unit situations, please refer to the governing documentation for your structure to determine who has the legal authority to determine whether or not to participate in the Settlement. The Settlement identifies the Settlement Class Member as the person who has the legal authority to enter into a contract for the installation of a Lighting Protection System and Bonding and Grounding. For example, in a condominium, the governing documentation for that condominium might specify that the condominium Association has the authority to enter into such agreement. In that case, the Association would be the Settlement Class Member.
Because lightning is one of the most destructive forces on earth, there can be no guarantee that any measure can be taken to completely eliminate the risk of lightning. Installation of a lightning protection system (“LPS”) will decrease the risk of damage from a direct lightning strike, and proper bonding and grounding (which is included if a Settlement Class Member chooses to install an LPS) will decrease the risk of damage from a near (or indirect) lightning strike.
No.
No.
Vouchers must be used within 24 months of the Effective Date. We will update the toll-free number and the website to include this information once we know the date the Settlement approval becomes final.
Yes.
That is a question we are unable to answer; you should consult your insurance agent for any insurance related questions.
The Settlement does not cover these costs.
The Third-Party Vendor is Bonded Lightning Protection Systems, LTD. If you submit a Claim Form, we will provide you with information concerning how to arrange for an inspection and the price quote for your property. More information about Bonded Lightning Protection Systems, LTD may be obtained from their website: www.bondedlp.com.
Certain disputes, such as any and all disputes concerning the eligibility of a property for a payment voucher, are to be submitted to the Neutral Evaluator, who is ADR, Inc. in Little Rock, Arkansas. All other disputes are under the exclusive jurisdiction of the District Court of Clark County, Arkansas. For more information, consult the Settlement Agreement posted on the website.
The Court has approved a plan of notice, which includes publication in major publications, including newspaper supplements, national consumer magazines and trade publications.
Costs associated with Bonding and Grounding (B&G) can vary greatly depending on your structure and location. Costs for B&G will be determined by the TPV as part of the Claims process. Lightning Protection System (LPS) costs can also vary, but the estimated cost of LPS can be found on the Pricing Matrix on the Claim Submission page. A Good Faith Estimate from the TPV will be provided as part of the Claims process.
Yes. You will receive a letter detailing what about your claim was incomplete and given a period of time to remedy the issue(s).
If your home or structure has already been Bonded and Grounded, but you do not have a Lightning Protection System installed, you may still be entitled to benefits from the Settlement. To receive benefits, you must file a claim. If your claim is valid, you would be eligible to receive a Payment Voucher that can be used toward the installation of a Lightning Protection System through the Settlement.
Claimants who had a LPS installed prior to September 5, 2006 may be eligible for a special monetary benefit by submitting a Previously Installed LPS Claim Form. The form must be requested from the Settlement Administrator by calling 1 (800) 420-2916. The deadline to submit these claims is September 5, 2007.
If you intend to redeem the voucher you received as part of the CSST Settlement, you must submit a completed Questionnaire to the Settlement Administrator postmarked no later than March 5, 2008. All Lightning Protection System and Bonding and Grounding work as part of a voucher redemption must be completed on or before March 5, 2009.