Propane Exchange Tank Antitrust Lawsuit
Defendants Blue Rhino and AmeriGas together control the U.S. market for filled propane exchange tanks, which are primarily used to power outdoor grills.
Plaintiffs allege that, beginning no later than the spring of 2008, Blue Rhino and AmeriGas conspired to reduce the fill levels in their propane tanks from 17 pounds to 15 pounds while still charging the previous price and forced major retailers to accept that fill-level reduction. Plaintiffs also allege that the defendants continued to fix prices, allocate customers and markets, and avoid competing with each other on price or fill levels through at least 2010, and continue to fill exchange tanks at 15 pounds. As a result, Plaintiffs allege they and the proposed class have paid artificially inflated prices for filled propane exchange tanks.
On July 2, 2015, the district court dismissed the case, holding that Plaintiffs’ claims are time-barred. Plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and on June 23, 2017, the Eight Circuit, en banc, reversed the District Court. The Supreme Court denied certiorari and the case is proceeding in the Western District of Missouri.
LEAD ATTORNEYS: H. Laddie Montague, Jr., Martin I. Twersky, Eric L. Cramer