City of Tuscaloosa v. Harcros Chemicals, Inc.

877 F. Supp. 1504 (1995)

From our private database of 46,000+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

City of Tuscaloosa v. Harcros Chemicals, Inc.

United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
877 F. Supp. 1504 (1995)

  • Written by Heather Whittemore, JD

Facts

The city of Tuscaloosa and other municipalities in Alabama (collectively, the municipalities) (plaintiffs) purchased chlorine to treat water. Harcros Chemicals, Inc., and four other chemical companies (collectively, the chemical companies) (defendants) sold and distributed chlorine to the municipalities through submitted bids or other price negotiations. The municipalities believed that the chlorine industry was an oligopoly that engaged in price-fixing throughout the bidding process. The municipalities filed a lawsuit against the chemical companies in federal district court, alleging they violated § 1 of the Sherman Act by forming a horizontal agreement to restrain trade by exchanging price information and concealing their collusion. At trial, the municipalities presented testimony from several expert witnesses to support their claims, including economist Dr. Robert F. Lanzillotti and statistician Dr. James T. McClave. Lanzillotti had no direct information about the actions of the chemical companies. Rather, Lanzillotti based his testimony on bidding patterns and concluded that in oligopolistic markets, sellers can easily engage in collusive activity to fix prices. Lanzillotti argued that the chemical companies were engaged in tacit collusion or conscious parallelism, relying on a single law-review article that proposed the theory. McClave performed a statistical analysis on data used by Lanzillotti to argue that the chemical companies’ allegedly collusive behavior raised chlorine prices. McClave also incorporated Lanzillotti’s theory of tacit collusion to conclude that the chemical companies engaged in illegal behavior. The chemical companies filed motions for summary judgment, arguing that the municipalities had no evidence to support their theory and that the expert testimonies presented by the municipalities should be excluded under the Daubert standard.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Guin, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 742,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 46,000 briefs, keyed to 986 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 46,000 briefs - keyed to 986 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership