PABCO denied motion for summary judgment in antitrust case

By Dawn Geske | Nov 2, 2018

PHILADELPHIA - The final defendant in the antitrust lawsuit filed by 12 homebuilders for alleged violations of the Sherman Act by seven indirect and direct drywall purchasers has been denied summary judgment.

PABCO filed a motion for summary judgment in the lawsuit filed by Ashton Woods Holdings LLC. In its motion, it cited the Valspar Corp. v. DuPont decision.

While District Court Judge Michael Baylson on Oct. 11 acknowledged the Valspar decision, he denied PABCO’s motion for summary judgment and granted the motion of the plaintiffs to strike.

In the case, PABCO argued that “liability issues” as cited in the Valspar decision required the court to reconsider and change its decision to deny summary judgment. Baylson said in the court memorandum for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, “Valspar does not require or not allow for reconsideration or reversal.”

He continued in the memorandum, “Contrary to PABCO’s arguments, this Court did not ignore or violate the standards set forth in Valspar, nor did it ignore or violate the standards set forth in any of the three cases (Baby Food Antitrust Litigation, Chocolate Confectionary Antitrust Litigation, and Flat Glass Antitrust Litigation) cited above.”

Baylson went on to say that the differences in the PABCO case and Valspar was the evidence of “traditional conspiratorial evidence.” The memorandum cited instances when PABCO’s director of sales and vice president of sales and marketing had discussions via email to eliminate job quotes as well as coordinate manufacturer behavior.

The original motion for summary judgment by PABCO was dismissed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Based on the decision made with the Third Circuit Court and the arguments made by the defendant, Baylson agreed with the lower court’s decision and denied the request by PABCO to dismiss the case.

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