A Pennsylvania federal judge on Wednesday granted class certification to the direct purchasers of domestic drywall in multidistrict litigation accusing manufacturers of colluding to fix prices.
Despite key disagreements between the plaintiffs’ and defendants’ experts over the calculation of pricing structures, U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson found that the class of about 14,000 entities, including distributors, buying cooperatives, and contractors, that purchased paper-backed gypsum wallboard directly from several defendants, including American Gypsum Co. and New NGC Inc., anytime in 2012 or 2013, are entitled to certification.
“When viewed with the totality of the evidence the court believes that plaintiffs have proven, by a preponderance of the evidence, that they can show classwide impact,” Judge Baylson said after reviewing the testimony from both experts and a third-party expert. “As a result, the court believes the better course is to allow [plaintiff’s expert] Dr. Lamb's opinion and testimony, and also defendants’ evidence, and allow the jury to conclude which is more persuasive on the merits, in terms of the existence or nonexistence of liability.”
The class is represented by Kit A. Pierson, Brent W. Johnson, and David A. Young of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, H. Laddie Montague, Jr., Eric L. Cramer, Ruthanne Gordon, Michael C. Dell’Angelo, and Candice Enders of Berger & Montague P.C., and Eugene A. Spector, Jeffrey J. Corrigan, Rachel E. Kopp, and Jeffrey L. Spector of Spector Roseman Kodroff & Willis P.C.
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