December 2019 Vol. 74 No. 12


Weldbend, Boltex Win False-Claims Lawsuit Against Ulma Forja

A jury returned a verdict in favor of Weldbend and Boltex on all counts in a lawsuit by the American carbon steel flange manufacturers against a Spanish company, Ulma Forja – part of the Mondragon Corp. – and its U.S. subsidiary, Ulma Piping.

The lawsuit accused Ulma of falsely claiming that it normalized its flanges for use in American pipelines, refineries and chemical plants in accordance with American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) A105 standards.

It further stated that Ulma stamped these flanges “A105N”, issued documentation with each flange stating they had undergone the normalization process specified by the ASTM and continued to ship the flanges into the United States when testing showed the flanges were not normalized.

Chicago-based Weldbend and Boltex of Houston became suspicious several years ago when Ulma began offering supposedly heat-treated (“normalized”) flanges to U.S. customers at undercutting prices. Plaintiffs sued Ulma in 2017, after metallurgical testing suggested that Ulma’s flanges had not been normalized and were not in conformance with industry standards as claimed by Ulma’s advertising.

“I want to thank the jury for recognizing Ulma’s unfair and deceptive practices that have gone on for years,” said James Coulas Jr., president of Weldbend. “American companies like Weldbend and Boltex can compete with anyone in the world on a fair and level playing field.”

The trial, which began on Sept. 16, was presided over by Judge Andrew S. Hanen in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.

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