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NW Pipe sues TK over alleged defective coil

Keywords: Tags  Northwest Pipe, ThyssenKrupp, steel, coil, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — Northwest Pipe Co. has filed a $1.9-million lawsuit against ThyssenKrupp Steel USA LLC over a shipment of steel coil that was allegedly defective, forcing the Vancouver, Wash.-based pipe and tube maker to buy steel plate from a third party instead.

According to the original complaint filed April 8 in Clark County Superior Court in Washington, Northwest Pipe ordered 2,285 tons of X70-grade steel from ThyssenKrupp in March 2012 to spiral-weld custom-made water transmission pipe for a customer order. However, the Calvert, Ala.-based steelmaker allegedly delivered steel that exceeded the requested yield strength and had "flat spots," making it unsuitable for use in the pipe, according to the complaint.

Representatives of ThyssenKrupp allegedly admitted after an inspection that the issue with flat spots was a "serious one" and provided 400 tons of replacement coils, according to the filing. However, these allegedly also had flat spots and exceeded the specified strength of steel, according to the complaint.

Under pressure to fulfill the order on time, Northwest Pipe said it was forced instead to buy steel plates from a third party that could not be spiral-welded, increasing the cost of making the pipe for the order.

ThyssenKrupp denied a claim by Northwest Pipe for the cost of the defective steel, the complaint alleges. Northwest Pipe has not been able to use or sell the defective steel in the meantime, according to the complaint.

The case has since been moved to federal District Court in Washington, court documents show.

ThyssenKrupp and Northwest Pipe declined to comment.

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