JM Eagle has always maintained the highest level of quality in the production of its pipe, from its raw materials to its manufacturing processes, to maximize the performance of its finished product.
Every step along the way, our products are routinely and frequently monitored by internal quality control personnel, as well as external auditors to ensure the pipe is meeting or exceeding industry standards. Consequently, JM Eagle boasts a claims rate over the last 10 years of less than 0.1 percent—and the majority of that small subset of claims stem from installation or other non-manufacturing errors.
As the qui tam case regarding JM Eagle pipe moves forward, with the company preparing its case for a trial later this year or early next year, it welcomes the opportunity to put its record of outstanding quality before the court.
In addition, JM Eagle wishes to take this opportunity to remind its customers of the key facts in the case.
Entities declining to intervene. Decisions of numerous entities support the growing sentiment that the case against JM Eagle is baseless. After an extensive investigation into the lawsuit’s allegations, the federal government declined to intervene in the lawsuit filed in its name, through a disgruntled former JM Eagle employee, by the plaintiff’s contingency-fee law firm of Phillips & Cohen.
Since then, California, Florida, Massachusetts and Indiana have also decided not to intervene in this legal action against JM Eagle. Tennessee and Delaware, as well as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (the nation’s largest utility), have taken rare steps of reversing their original decisions to intervene in the suit after further reviewing facts of the case. Washington, D.C., Illinois and New York have also formally declined to intervene.
Victories in court. JM Eagle has welcomed several pretrial rulings issued by the court that have significantly narrowed and reduced the scope of claims in the case. Among them:
- The judge refused to allow the intervening plaintiffs to add hundreds of extraneous state law and other claims that plaintiffs' counsel had sought to pile onto the suit.
- The judge sided with JM Eagle to strike racially insensitive and derogatory references to the ethnicity of the company’s owners from the suit after plaintiff’s counsel refused several requests to remove them on its own.
Confirmation of quality in third-party testing. Results of tests by independent testing laboratories confirm the quality and reliability of JM Eagle PVC pressure pipe—both currently and during the period covered by the lawsuit. Jana Laboratories conducted tests on pipe from the same batch provided to the federal government for its own inquiry; their tests confirmed the pipe passed all industry standards. JM Eagle pipe has also been continuously certified by the industry-standard certification bodies NSF International and UL, as well as other independent authorities, to meet all long-term strength requirements. To view the complete report, click on item #7, Jana Laboratories Quality Reports, in the column at right titled Important Materials.
False accusations. A key witness for the plaintiff in the lawsuit denies ever saying the company took measures that intentionally compromised the quality of its pipe—an accusation that was falsely contained in the lawsuit. Brian Wang, a former long-time plant manager, said in a sworn statement that he never acknowledged conspiring to sacrifice quality by using cheaper ingredients, speeding up production or failing to replace parts on extruders, as the suit alleges. Wang worked for J-M Manufacturing—now JM Eagle—from 1984 to June 2006, including as a plant manager at three of the company’s 22 plants. Click on #4, Declaration of Brian Wang.
Witness testimony of accuser fraud. There is clear evidence that the former employee who initiated this lawsuit was also the architect of a kickback scheme to defraud JM Eagle, for which he was fired in 2005. JM Eagle has a sworn affidavit confirming he offered to inflate a claim in return for money sent to his home. Click on #10, Sworn Statement from Sheldon.
Commitment to quality. JM Eagle has invested more than $350 million over the past 15 years to employ the most modern manufacturing practices available to ensure that its products continue to set the standard for superior quality in the plastic-pipe industry.
Third-party verification of installation errors. There are allegations in the lawsuit about a case of pipe leakage in the state of Nevada. Independent third-party testing of the pipe in question revealed that not only was the pipe manufactured per industry specifications, but also that the failure of the pipe was the result of over-insertion of the bell, an installation error. The report from the study, paid for by the state of Nevada and completed by CRT Laboratories Inc., is available for viewing and download at item #11.
Complete transparency. JM Eagle stands ready to work with state and city officials, the heads of district water boards and other customers to examine the many flaws in this case closely. Over the last two years, the company has been in contact with many public and private customers. Overwhelmingly, its partners understand that this case is without merit and based on a lone accuser out to enrich himself.
In addition to items described above, other facts of the case are supported by many documents on the right-hand side of this page.
No company in this industry has passed more rigorous tests of its products than JM Eagle. The facts show that JM Eagle not only meets industry quality standards but also exceeds many of those standards. With the addition of JM Eagle’s unprecedented 50-year extended warranty, there is no question JM Eagle has and will always stand behind the quality of its pipe.
JM Eagle will continue to keep you informed about its progress against this scurrilous lawsuit. For JM Eagle, no responsibility is more important than the duty to communicate with its customers openly, honestly and often, and to provide the finest quality pipe.
Vice President of Marketing and Waterworks Sales
- NAACP Support Letter
- Vendor Testimonials (PDF)
- Minority Groups Object to Racially Charged Language in Lawsuit Against JM Eagle (PDF)
- Declaration of Brian Wang
- JM Eagle’s $350 Million Capital Investment is Increased by Another $20 Million-Press Release (PDF)
- Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
- Jana Laboratories Quality
- Written Transcript of the Press Conference - 02.18.2010 (PDF)
- Press Conference - 02.18.2010 (MP3 audio)
- Sworn Statement from Sheldon (PDF)
- CRT Laboratories Report (PDF)
- Florida Attorney General Statement (PDF)
- California Declines Intervention (PDF)
- Federal Government Declined Intervention (PDF)
- Quality Claim History Data (PDF)
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