A lawsuit that now has class-action status filed against containerboard producers in the United States will proceed through the federal court system, the U.S. Supreme Court reportedly ruled in mid-April.
According to an online report from Reuters, Monday, April 17, 2017, the Supreme Court declined to halt the class-action lawsuit, which contends that certain containerboard producers engaged in price fixing activities. The plaintiffs are seeking “nearly $12 billion in potential damages,” according to Reuters.
Containerboard producers named in the lawsuit, as of a 2012 filing, include International Paper Co., Packaging Corp. of America and Georgia-Pacific LLC.
Among the containerboard or cardboard buyers that have filed suit is Minnetonka, Minnesota-based concrete cleaning products maker Kleen Products LLC, with its antitrust lawsuit reportedly dating back to 2010.
In the 2012 filing section that outlines the complaints of the plaintiffs, they allege “the existence of anti-competitive behavior beginning in August 2005.”
The suit alleges the containerboard firms pursued a pricing increase strategy within months after jointly attending an industry conference in June 2005, and again after another industry conference that took place in November 2005.
The containerboard producers had appealed in their defense that “terms of sale are negotiated between buyers and sellers, resulting in widely varying prices and contracts,” reports Reuters, and the defendants say judges have held this is contrary to the notion that collusion can be part of the pricing process.