Volume 46, Issue 4 - May 2011

Legislation&Legal

Four Primary Manufacturers Named in Price-Fixing Suit Filed by Jeld-Wen
Four primary glass manufacturers—AGC Flat Glass North America, Guardian Industries, Pilkington North America and PPG Industries—have been named in a price-fixing complaint filed March 28, 2011, by Jeld-Wen Inc. The complaint alleges that defendants “contracted, conspired or combined to fix, raise, maintain or stabilize prices of, and allocate business for, flat glass they sold in the United States during the claim period,” January 1, 2002, through at least December 31, 2006. In its complaint,
Jeld-Wen claims the defendants imposed identical surcharges, such as energy surcharges, “when in fact defendants’ energy costs were not uniform and these ‘surcharges’ were a ruse to allow them to raise prices.”

Jeld-Wen goes on to claim that “there is a history of collusion in the flat glass industry involving the defendants and/or their predecessors.” The complaint references court cases in which the defendants have been involved, including a November 2008 European Commission case of the “highest cartel fines the Commission ever imposed for an individual company and for a price fixing cartel as a whole …”(see December 2007 USGlass, page 36).

The complaint alleges that “in a notice of class action settlement dated February 16, 2011, Jeld-Wen was notified of proposed settlements by the class action plaintiffs with the defendants.” As a member of the proposed settlement classes, Jeld-Wen chose to opt out of the proposed settlement and pursue its own claims against the defendants.

At press time Guardian, Pilkington and PPG had not responded to USGlass’ request for comment. AGC declined to comment.

Glasslam Files Complaint Against Edgetech in Federal Florida Court
Glasslam USA has filed a suit against Edgetech I.G. alleging that the company has engaged in defamation, deceptive and unfair trade practices, and breach of contract, among other allegations. The complaint was filed March 24 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

The case relates to Glasslam’s entry into the warm-edge foam spacer market in 2007. Glasslam catalogs several claims, including allegations that Edgetech pressured suppliers that manufacture raw materials used in foam spacers not to sell to Glasslam, with the threat of litigation, and conspiring with trade associations and certification councils to keep Glasslam’s warm-edge foam spacer from market.

Glasslam charges Edgetech with violation of the Sherman Act and Florida statutes, a count of defamation, a count of violation of Florida’s deceptive and unfair trade practices, and breach of contract. Glasslam is seeking a judgment for damages, along with attorneys’ fees and court costs.

Edgetech officials declined to comment on the case.

Bayou City Glass Files Suit Against Haley-Greer
Bayou City Glass (BCG) in Webster, Texas, filed suit April 5 in Harris County District Court against Dallas-based Haley-Greer Inc. (HGI) and Suretec Insurance Co. in Houston, alleging HGI materially breached its contract with BCG. BCG is seeking damages of $367,484.73 and court costs.

The dispute concerns the Phoenix Tower project in Houston, for which HGI had been hired to replace the spandrel glass. The suit alleges that HGI and BCG entered into a verbal agreement, with BCG agreeing to provide all labor necessary to replace a portion of the spandrel glass. All of the materials necessary to replace the spandrel glass were provided by HGI.

Court documents allege that BCG completed its work on the project in February 2009, and its work was inspected and approved by the owner’s agent, Curtainwall Design Consultants, as it was being done. However, “despite the fact that BCG completed replacing all of the spandrel glass provided by HGI and that HGI requested that BCG replace, HGI has refused and continues to refuse to pay BCG the total sum of $367,484.73.” In April 2009, BCG recorded an Affidavit for Statutory Mechanic’s and Material Man’s Lien against the project in the amount of $367,484.73, which includes a claim for $190,899.64 in retainage. Court records note similar ensuing notices were sent out, the latest deadline having been April 8, 2011.

At press time neither Bayou City Glass nor Haley-Greer representatives had responded to USGlass’ request for comment.


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