We achieved a victory on a motion to dismiss for Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau (CSSB). CSSB and three of its cedar shake and shingle manufacturer-members were named as defendants in putative class action complaints brought by three separate classes of cedar shake and shingle purchasers. The cases were consolidated into a single case under Judge Pechman in the Western District of Washington. The plaintiffs’ allegations closely mirrored allegations brought by a disgruntled CSSB member, S&W Forest Products, which claimed its membership was terminated as part of an antitrust conspiracy. As reported in an earlier edition of “good news,” S&W’s antitrust claim was dismissed. Even after the dismissal of those claims, the class plaintiffs persisted in alleging that CSSB and its members were engaged in a long-running price-fixing conspiracy. Later, the court entered an order granting the defendants’ motions to dismiss, finding that the plaintiffs failed to allege any direct evidence of a conspiracy or agreement to fix prices. The court also found that the plaintiffs had failed to allege adequate facts to infer a conspiracy from indirect evidence. Importantly, the court granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss with prejudice. The court had previously ordered the parties to meet and confer so the defendants could “lay their cards on the table” as to the deficiencies in the plaintiffs’ complaints, then allowed the plaintiffs to amend their complaints to address those deficiencies. Thus, the court concluded that the plaintiffs had already done everything they could to adequately allege a conspiracy, and they failed to do so.
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