26 – Risks from Litigation and Claims

BASF Corporation has potential liability under the Comprehensive Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, as amended, and related state laws for investigation and cleanup at certain sites. The Lower Passaic River Study Area (LPRSA) is one such site comprising the lower 17 miles of the Passaic River in New Jersey. BASF Corporation and more than 60 other companies (collectively, the Lower Passaic River Study Area Cooperating Parties Group or CPG) agreed to complete a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) of the LPRSA. In 2016, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) selected a final remedy for the lower eight miles of the LPRSA. In late 2018, USEPA indicated being amenable to the CPG’s approach for remediation work in the upper portion of the LPRSA. Completion of the RI/FS and an agreement with USEPA on a targeted approach for the upper portion of the LPRSA may occur in late 2019.

Between November 2014 and March 2015, a putative class action lawsuit and several additional lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against BASF Metals Limited (BML), based in the United Kingdom, along with other defendants, alleging violations of antitrust and commodities laws stemming from the price discovery process for platinum and palladium. The lawsuits were consolidated, and a Second Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint was eventually filed in July 2015. This Complaint also names as a defendant, among others, BASF Corporation. On September 21, 2015, the defendants filed a Joint Motion to Dismiss the Second Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint, and BML and BASF Corporation filed individual motions to dismiss. On March 28, 2017, the Court dismissed the Second Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint against BASF Corporation and BML on jurisdictional grounds. On May 15, 2017, the plaintiffs filed an amended Complaint that renews allegations against defendants and BML, while BASF Corporation is not named as a defendant. The defendants filed a renewed Joint Motion to Dismiss, and BML filed a renewed Motion to Dismiss. In 2018, no further developments in this proceeding occurred. A pro se complaint filed in September 2015 was dismissed by the U.S. District Court on October 19, 2017. The plaintiff filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals on November 19, 2017. An oral argument took place on October 18, 2018, and the Court’s decision is still outstanding.

Furthermore, BASF SE and its affiliated companies are defendants in or parties to a variety of judicial, arbitrational and/or regulatory proceedings on a recurring basis. To our current knowledge, none of these proceedings will have a material effect on the economic situation of BASF.