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Attwater

Class Action Lawsuit against Manufacturers of High Pressure Laminates

18 July 2000

A class action lawsuit was filed on July 14, 2000 in Davidson County, Tennessee against Premark International, Inc., Wilsonart International, Inc., International Paper Company, Panolam Industries International, Inc., and Pioneer Plastics Corporation,harging the companies with price fixing in the high pressure laminate industry (HPL). HPL's are used to make durable and impact-resistant decorative surfacing products, such as kitchen and ath countertops, eating surfaces, doors, lavatory dividers, desktops and work surfaces. The complaint alleges the defendants violated the Tennessee Trade Practices Act ("Antitrust statute") and the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977. The lawsuit is one of several which have been filed around the country against these companies, however, unlike those suits filed in federal courts on behalf only of "direct purchasers" of HDL, this suit is also brought on behalf of consumers in 16 states who have antitrust statutes similar to Tennessee which allow consumers, who are defined by law as "indirect purchasers" to bring suit for violations of those states' antitrust laws. The lawsuit charges that the companies conspired to fix the prices for HPL's causing consumers to pay supra-competitive prices.