The ongoing auto glass boycott lawsuit continued in an Eastern N.Y. courtroom last Friday, where not only was a combined motion to dismiss the case filed, but the plaintiff, O.E.M. Glass Network Inc. and Brooklyn Wholesale Glass Inc. (known together as OEMGN) filed a response against grounds for dismissal.
Last week defense attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the current lawsuit, OEMGN vs. Mygrant Glass Company Inc., Interstate Glass of Amityville NY LLC, Metro Glass Distributing Inc., Xinyi Auto Glass North America Corp., Vitro S.A.B. de C.V., Vitro Automotive Glass LLC, Fuyao Glass America Inc., Auto Temp Inc. and Sika Corp.
In February OEMGN filed suit against two auto glass distributors and several manufacturers alleging they conspired against the N.Y. companies and boycotted them in an attempt to eliminate it from the market. Last month the courts extended time for the defense to file a response to claims made against them by OEMGN.
According to the defendants’ filed joint motion to dismiss, the case should end on three grounds that include:
- The plaintiff’s Sherman Act claim is not valid because the complaint contains no factual allegations to support OEMGN’s claim that Mygrant and Interstate entered into an agreement to boycott OEMGN and subsequently convinced the manufacturer Defendants to join such a conspiracy.
- The plaintiffs’ Donnelly Act claim is not valid because it does not add new factual allegations. Alternatively, the Donnelly Act claim should be dismissed if the Federal Sherman Act claim is dismissed.
- The plaintiffs’ interference with prospective business relations claim must also be dismissed because it fails to state a claim for an antitrust violation, or allege any other intentional or dishonest conduct.
OEMGN’s response to the filed joint motion to dismiss urged the court to deny it.
The response claimed the alleged illegal group boycott was originally arranged by Mygrant and Interstate, and claimed Mygrant aimed to “ensure there would be one less guy in town.”
“Mygrant and Interstate sought to make their price-cutting competitor OEMGN a cancer, according to Interstate’s owner, Angelo Marino, by pressuring OEMGN’s suppliers – including the Manufacturer Defendants – to cut off sales to OEMGN and preclude it from obtaining supply through alternate channels,” a portion of the response reads.
OEMGN alleges after suppliers were contacted by the distributors they refused to sell to OEMGN knowing Mygrant and Interstate would “flatten anybody” that did. The response mentioned OEMGN reaching out to other wholesalers for its auto glass needs, and were met without its desired products. OEMGN claims other wholesalers were threatened against supplying shipments and complies with Mygrant and Interstate’s demands.
As a result, OEMGN stated it was unable to compete in the aftermarket due to Mygrant and Interstate’s conduct.
“For an aftermarket auto glass wholesaler like OEMGN to be competitive, it must maintain a robust and varied stock of products, including those produced by the manufacturer defendants, to enable the wholesaler to provide products within hours of a retailer’s order. If retailers cannot “one-stop shop” at a wholesaler, they will not do significant business with it,” a portion of the response reads.
According to court documents, OEMGN maintains that the defendants’ boycott limited customer choice, reduced output, reduced quality, and led to retailers and, in turn, consumers, paying higher prices for aftermarket auto glass products.
OEMGN currently wants the court to deny the joint motion to dismiss, filed by the defendants. At this time no additional deadlines have been announced by the court.
A very interesting auto glass case.