August 21, 2019

AmeriGas Beats Back States’ Claims in Antitrust MDL

Munger, Tolles & Olson represented AmeriGas Propane in obtaining the dismissal of 11 states’ antitrust claims in multidistrict litigation alleging that AmeriGas, among others, continued anticompetitive behavior in violation of a settlement.

In 2008, AmeriGas and others decreased the amount of propane in their pre-filled tanks from 17 to 15 pounds. The proposed class argued that the companies were effectively raising the price of the propane in their tanks, violating the Sherman Act and state antitrust laws. The latest decision comes after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit remanded the plaintiffs’ state law claims in 2018 to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri with instructions to consider whether to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over those claims.

In his Aug. 21, 2019 ruling, Judge Gary A. Fenner of the Western District of Missouri dismissed claims from New York, Florida, various other states, as well as Washington, D.C., finding that they were time-barred. Judge Fenner relied on various factors, including harmonization provisions, to determine whether the continuing violations doctrine can be applied under the states’ antitrust laws.

The attorneys representing AmeriGas include Joseph D. Lee, Stuart N. Senator, Kyle W. Mach, Ashley D. Kaplan and Andre W. Brewster.