Hayward Pool Products of Elizabeth, N.J., and Zodiac Pool Systems of Vista, Calif., are almost done with the class-action lawsuit that named them, along with the other so-called Big 3 company, Pentair Aquatic Systems of Sanford, N.C., and megadistributor PoolCorp, based in Covington, La. In June, a Louisiana judge approved a settlement for nearly $10 million — $6.5 million from Hayward and $3.45 million from Zodiac. Under the agreement, the payments constitute “all-in” amounts, so the manufacturers will be completely released from the claims. Attorneys’ fees and other costs, in addition to the plaintiffs’ awards, will come out of that sum. The settlement cannot be used to imply guilt on the part of either manufacturer.
Two groups (one of industry professionals, one of consumers) accused the firms of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act, and claimed PoolCorp. violated the section of the law prohibiting monopolies. This settlement closes out the case involving industry professionals. An agreement with the consumers received a final hearing in May and awaits approval.