Watson Carpet & Floor Covering v. Mohawk Indus., Inc.
In 2007, plaintiff, a carpet dealer, settled state law claims against a competing dealer and a manufacturer, alleging slander and refusal to deal arising from a 1998 agreement between the defendants. The federal district court subsequently dismissed claims under the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 1, based on continuing refusal to deal. The Sixth Circuit reversed. The plaintiff adequately alleged an ongoing conspiracy to restrain trade and that the defendants acted on their agreement after the settlement. Although the lawsuit was a plausible alternative reason for refusal to deal, conspiracies are presumed to be ongoing and the allegation was sufficient for the pleadings stage. The 2007 settlement did not bar the claims because it did not effectuate a withdrawal from the conspiracy. The defendants took no actions inconsistent with a continuing conspiracy. View "Watson Carpet & Floor Covering v. Mohawk Indus., Inc." on Justia Law