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In re Bath and Kitchen Fixtures Antitrust Litigation

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
535 F.3d 161 (3d Cir. 2008)


Facts

The buyers (plaintiffs) of kitchen and bath fixtures filed a class action lawsuit against several fixture manufacturers (defendants), alleging price fixing and conspiracy in violation of the Sherman Act. 15 U.S.C. § 1. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP). Rather than dismiss the action, on July 19, 2006, the district court gave the plaintiffs leave to amend the complaint in order to plead sufficient additional facts to satisfy the requirements of notice pleading under FRCP Rule 8(a)(2). The plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal pursuant to FRCP Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) instead. The defendants then filed a Motion for Entry of Judgment in Accordance with the Court’s Memorandum and Order of July 19, 2006, asking the court to strike the notice and enter a dismissal with prejudice, pursuant to the memorandum the court issued on that date. The defendants argued that the plaintiffs no longer had the right to take a voluntary dismissal, because the court had already granted the Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. The plaintiffs objected, but the court granted the motion and dismissed the complaint, effectively with prejudice. The plaintiffs appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Scirica, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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