Website for Auto Parts and Accessories Industry Price-Discrimination Lawsuit - Coalition for a Level Playing Field, LLC, et al. v. AutoZone, Inc., et. al, for Alleged Violation of Sections 2(a), 2(c) and 2(f) of the Robinson-Patman Act, Filed 2/16/00

Date of Initial Publication: 2/22/00; Date of Last Revision: 11/08/06 04:21

Note: All of the statements in this Automotive Parts and Accessories Price-Discrimination Lawsuit Website are allegations, as distinguished from statements of fact. The obvious purpose of having allegations below, instead of statements of asserted fact, is to avoid unnecessary litigation.

The first trial in this action has taken place (a 1-week trial concluding on 1/29/03) and went against the plaintiffs for a variety of reasons to be discussed in future litigation documents. Subsequently, the plaintiffs' appeal was heard and rejected by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. At this time, the plaintiffs are preparing to file another complaint against some of the original defendants, and for the first time against various auto-parts manufacturers. A copy of a very early draft of the new complaint is set forth at Early Draft of New Auto-Parts Complaint to be Filed during October, 2004 Note: A website for the second lawsuit is at website for 2nd Auto-Parts Lawsuit

Anyone interested in the outcome of the trial should read my RPA updates (first posted during Februrary, 2003) which represent my present thinking about what needs to be done by companies injured by violations of the Robinson-Patman Act, which follow (Note: this was written prior to the writing of any of the 3 books by Carl E. Person mentioned above):

  1. Coalition's Brief on Appeal
  2. >How Auto-Parts Plaintiffs and Others Can or Should Commence an Individual Lawsuit for Damages under the RPA in Light of Recent RPA Litigation Developments

  3. [Dated: 2/12/03 - National Business Scandal 1000 Times Enron] New Developments and Update on How the Nation's Manufacturers Are Paying for the New Chain Stores Which Are Putting Independents Out of Business and How a Victimized Independent Business Can Use the Robinson-Patman Act to Recover Damages and Help to Stop the Unlawful Practices

I will post additional information about the trial and future trials and proceedings in the lawsuit in due course.

On 2/26/03 I filed in the District Court (EDNY) a Notice of Appeal from the final judgment entered against the 22 plaintiffs.

On 3/06/03 I filed in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals the following description of the issues I propose to raise during the appeal:

Whether the Court below erred in holding prior to trial (i) that plaintiffs could not pursue their claims of discriminatory pricing by 22 product lines (representing 200,000 different auto parts SKU's), and requiring instead disclosures as to each of the 200,000 different auto parts involved; (ii) that plaintiffs had to ship to, and warehouse in, the EDNY [Eastern District of New York] 3,500 boxes of invoices [130 pallets] (at an estimated cost to plaintiffs of about $350,000) and that plaintiffs had to warehouse and make them available to defendants at a $45,000 monthly expense -- even after defendants failed to inspect them as represented to the Court when requesting and obtaining the order ([allegedly] abusive litigation tactics requiring a forfeiture by defendants of their right to defend themselves in the action; (iii) plaintiffs alleged no Section 2(c) claim; and (iv) 1 day before trial, that plaintiffs were limited to 5 of their 32 listed witnesses (some of whom were already en route to the trial) and to 5 of their 20 selected auto parts, and that the trial was being bifurcated; and holding during the trial that (a) expert Prevatte was not qualified as an expert because he was a principal of plaintiff; (b) expert Kuralt's [now deceased] 45 years of business experience did not overcome his lack of academic credentials; (c) exhibits were inadmissible solely because they were created after commencement of action or did not refer to 1 of the specific 5 parts (instead of the other 15 parts or product line for such parts); (d) all expert reports of qualified experts were inadmissible, and (e) charging the jury with erroneous instructions.

There are 3 RPA-related websites you should see: