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Class Certification Granted in Drywall Price-Fixing Case

Posted: August 25, 2017
Practice Areas: Antitrust

On August 23, 2017, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania certified a class of direct purchasers of drywall in In re Domestic Drywall Antitrust Litigation. Plaintiffs in this class action have alleged that the dominant manufacturers of drywall in the United States engaged in a conspiracy to fix drywall prices in the U.S. and abolish the industry's longstanding practice of limiting price increases for the duration of a construction project through "job quotes."

In his ruling on the class certification motion, U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson concluded, "In this case, evidence reviewed extensively during this litigation has been accumulated that would allow a jury to find that an agreement to fix prices existed and that DPPs [direct purchaser plaintiffs] were impacted by this agreement.  If a jury were to agree, treble damages would be recoverable from the Defendants."

Prior to certifying the direct purchaser class, on February 18, 2016, the district court denied the motions for summary judgment filed by Defendants American Gypsum Company, New NGC, Inc., Lafarge North America Inc., and PABCO Building Products. The district court also approved three class-wide settlements totaling $67.5 with USG Corporation, United States Gypsum Company, TIN, Inc. d/b/a Temple-Inland, Inc., and Lafarge North America Inc.

The case will now proceed to trial on behalf of the certified class against the remaining non-settling defendants, namely National Gypsum, American Gypsum, and PABCO Building Products.

Berger & Montague is Co-Lead Counsel on behalf of the direct purchaser class, along with Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC and Spector Roseman & Kodroff, P.C. Berger & Montague's team consists of Chairman Emeritus H. Laddie Montague, Jr., Managing Shareholder Eric L. Cramer, Shareholder Ruthanne Gordon, Shareholder Michael Dell'Angelo, and Shareholder Candice Enders. Mr. Cramer spearheaded the class certification efforts for the team.