The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has reported that on Monday PPG Industries Inc.
lost a U.S. Supreme Court bid to stop a class-action lawsuit accusing it of fixing
prices in the glass market. The justices made no comment, turning away the appeal
as part of a list of orders released in Washington.
The rejection means the case returns to a federal court in Pittsburgh for a
possible trial next year, according to the press report. A spokesman for the Pittsburgh-based
glass manufacturer said that the company had not issued a statement concerning
the matter and did not anticipate doing so.
The article reported that PPG argued unsuccessfully that the 3rd U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals misapplied federal antitrust law when it ruled last year. The
3rd Circuit threw out claims that focused on the automotive replacement glass
market, while letting allegations centering on the so-called flat glass market
PPG and several other glass manufacturers at one point faced 29 different federal
lawsuits on behalf of auto body shops and other glass purchasers. The suits were
then combined into a single class-action case in Pittsburgh. All the other glass
manufacturers have settled their suits in this matter.
The case originated in 1998 when more than 30 plaintiffs who were purchasers
of flat glass filed a lawsuit accusing AFG Industries Inc., Ford Motor Co., Guardian
Industries, Pilkington LOF and PPG Industries of fixing the price of glass.
The lawsuit contended that they conspired to fix prices and allocate markets
between 1986 and 1995.