Articles Posted in U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

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Plaintiffs brought a class action suit under section 4 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 15, against the largest United States casket manufacturer, Batesville; and against the three largest United States funeral home chains and distributors of Batesville caskets. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants conspired to foreclose competition from independent casket discounters (ICDs) who sold caskets directly to consumers at discount prices and maintained artificially high consumer casket prices in violation of sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 1, 2, by engaging in a group boycott to prevent ICDs from selling Batesville caskets and dissuading consumers from purchasing caskets from ICDs. Plaintiffs also alleged that defendants used concerted efforts to restrict casket price competition, including coordinating prices, limiting the advertisement of pricing, and engaging in sham discounting. The court reversed and remanded the district court's dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction of the claim for attorneys' fees and costs; affirmed the district court's dismissal of Consumer Appellants' and FCA's injunctive relief claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction; and affirmed the district court's denial of class certification. View "Funeral Consumers Alliance Inc, et al v. Service Corp. Intl, et al" on Justia Law

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This was an antitrust case involving a dispute between competing programs to sell vouchers for rounds of golf at golf courses along Mississippi's Gulf Coast. The district court granted defendants' motion to dismiss, deciding, in pertinent part, that plaintiff had failed to allege the interstate commerce element of a valid claim under the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 1-7. The court concluded that, if it was true that these hotels and golf courses attracted out-of-state visitors who participated in the voucher program, as the complaint alleged, then there could be no doubt under both the Supreme Court's and this court's jurisprudence that the complaint stated a claim with respect to subject matter jurisdiction. Therefore, because the court found that the district court erred in dismissing the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Gulf Coast Hotel-Motel Ass'n v. Mississippi Gulf Coast Golf Co, et al." on Justia Law