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 occurred in August 2019 and a formal decision from USEPA on a targeted approach for the upper portion of the LPRSA is expected for 2020. BASF Corporation established a provision covering BASF’s currently estimated share of the remediation costs.

Between November 2014 and March 2015, a putative class action lawsuit and several additional lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court of 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 naming, among others, BASF Corporation, was eventually filed in July 2015 and dismissed on jurisdictional grounds on March 28, 2017. 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 and 2019, no further developments in this proceeding occurred. A pro se complaint filed in September 2015 that was not consolidated into the Second Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint was ultimately dismissed as of November 18, 2019.

Furthermore, BASF SE and its affiliated companies are defendants in or parties to a variety of judicial, arbitrational 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.