Impro Products, Inc. v. Herrick

715 F.2d 1267 (1983)

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Impro Products, Inc. v. Herrick

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
715 F.2d 1267 (1983)

Facts

Dr. John Herrick (defendant) entered into consulting agreements with multiple companies that sold animal antibiotics (the antibiotic companies) (defendants). Each of Herrick’s consulting agreements was with an individual antibiotic company, and no antibiotic company was aware that Herrick had consulting agreements with the other antibiotic companies. Impro Products, Inc. (plaintiff) produced and sold animal biologics. Both Herrick and the antibiotic companies conducted activity hostile to Impro’s products, but this was not concerted activity, and at no time did Herrick coordinate with the antibiotic companies in this activity hostile to Impro’s products. Prior to the beginning of this litigation, none of the antibiotic companies had ever communicated with each other about Impro’s products. Herrick’s opposition to Impro’s products was not a part of any of his consultation agreements with the antibiotic companies. Impro brought suit against Herrick and the antibiotic companies under the Sherman Act, alleging the companies entered into a hub-and-spoke conspiracy with Herrick to suppress Impro as a competitor. The district court granted summary judgment for Herrick and the antibiotic companies, finding there was no evidence from which a reasonable juror could conclude a hub-and-spoke conspiracy existed. Impro appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Heaney, J.)

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