HOWARD HESS DENTAL v. DENTSPLY INTERN.

Decision Date16 April 2010
Docket Number08-1694.,No. 08-1693,08-1693
PartiesHOWARD HESS DENTAL LABORATORIES INCORPORATED and Philip Guttierez d/b/a Dentures Plus, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Appellants v. DENTSPLY INTERNATIONAL, INC. Jersey Dental Laboratories, f/k/a Howard Hess Dental Laboratories Incorporated and Philip Guttierez, d/b/a Dentures Plus, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Appellants v. Dentsply International, Inc.; Accu Bite, Inc.; Adium Dental Products, Inc.; Arnold Dental Supply Company; Atlanta Dental Supply Company; Benco Dental Company; Burkhart Dental Supply Company; Darby Dental Laboratory Supply Co., Inc.; Dental Supplies And Equipment, Inc.; Edentaldirect.Com, Inc., as successor to Crutcher Dental, Inc., d/b/a Larry Hyman, as Assignee for the Benefit of Creditors of EdentalDirect.Com, Inc.; Hendon Dental Supply, Inc.; Henry Schein, Inc., and its affiliates including, without limitation, Zahn Dental Co., Inc.; Iowa Dental Supply Co.; Jahn Dental Supply Company; JB Dental Supply Co., Inc.; Johnson & Lund Co., Inc.; Kentucky Dental Supply Company, Inc., a/k/a KDSC Liquidation Corp.; Marcus Dental Supply Co.; Mohawk Dental Co., Inc.; Nowak Dental Supplies, Inc.; Patterson Dental Company, its subsidiaries, predecessors, successors, assigns, affiliates and related companies; Pearson Dental Supplies, Inc.; Zila, Inc., as successor to Ryker Dental of Kentucky, Inc.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Third Circuit

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

Thomas A. Dubbs (Argued), Richard Joffe, Labaton Sucharow, New York, NY, for Appellants.

Eric J. McCarthy, Margaret M. Zwisler (Argued), Latham & Watkins, Washington, DC, for Dentsply International, Inc.

Walter H. Drane, Jr., Potter, Anderson & Corroon, Wilmington, DE, for Accu Bite, Inc., Hendon Dental Supply, Inc., and Henry Schein, Inc.

Dorothy A. Hickok, Paul H. Saint-Antoine (Argued), Drinker, Biddle & Reath, Philadelphia, PA, Darryl A. Parson, Drinker, Biddle & Reath, Wilmington, DE, for Benco Dental Co.

Patricia L. Enerio, Proctor Heyman, Wilmington, DE, for Burkhart Dental Supply Co.

Henry E. Gallagher, Jr., Connolly, Bove, Lodge & Hutz, Wilmington, DE, for Darby Dental Laboratory Supply Co., Inc.

Antoinette D. Hubbard, James J. Maron, Maron, Marvel, Bradley & Anderson, Wilmington, DE, for Pearson Dental Supplies, Inc.

William J. Wade, Richards, Layton & Finger, Wilmington, DE, Margaret M. Zwisler, Latham & Watkins, Washington, DC, for Patterson Dental Company.

C. Scott Reese, Cooch & Taylor, Wilmington, DE, for JB Dental Supply Co., Inc.

Before: FUENTES and FISHER, Circuit Judges, and DIAMOND,* District Judge.

OPINION OF THE COURT

FISHER, Circuit Judge.

These two antitrust cases, brought by two dental laboratories against an artificial tooth manufacturer and many of its dealers, are before us for the second time. In the first of the two cases, we must decide whether the District Court properly denied the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on their monopolization claim against the manufacturer as well as the Court's denial of the plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration of its summary judgment ruling and subsequent dismissal of their complaint. In the second case, we must decide whether the District Court properly dismissed the plaintiffs' conspiracy to restrain trade and conspiracy to monopolize claims against both the manufacturer and its dealers for failure to state a claim. Although for slightly different reasons than those articulated by the District Court, we agree with the District Court's conclusions and will affirm its rulings.

I.

These appeals arise from two related antitrust cases filed in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware: Howard Hess Dental Laboratories, Inc. v. Dentsply International, Inc. ("Jersey Dental Laboratories v. Dentsply International, Inc. ("Jersey Dental").1 Because we set forth the factual background of both cases in great detail in a prior appeal, see Howard Hess Dental Labs. Inc. v. Dentsply Int'l, Inc., 424 F.3d 363 (3d Cir.2005) ("Hess I"), we recite here only those facts required for the resolution of this appeal.

The plaintiffs in both cases are two dental laboratories (referred to in this opinion as the "Plaintiffs"). One of the defendants in both Hess and Jersey Dental, Dentsply International, Inc., manufactures artificial teeth, among other things, which it sells to the Plaintiffs and other laboratories through a network of authorized dealers (referred to in this opinion as the "Dealers"), several of which are named defendants only in Jersey Dental. The Plaintiffs use Dentsply's artificial teeth to make dentures. In both cases, the Plaintiffs essentially allege that Dentsply "foreclosed its competitors' access to Dealers by explicitly agreeing with some Dealers that they will not carry certain competing brands of teeth and by inducing other Dealers not to carry those competing brands of teeth" and that Dentsply, "by agreement with its Dealers, ... set the Dealers' resale prices." Hess I, 424 F.3d at 367. In so doing, the Plaintiffs allege, Dentsply "caused the Plaintiffs to purchase Dentsply's teeth at artificially high prices and lose profits from unrealized sales of Dentsply's competitors' teeth." Id.

The Plaintiffs brought the Hess suit against Dentsply in 1999, alleging several antitrust conspiracies and seeking both monetary and injunctive relief. The District Court granted Dentsply's subsequent motion for summary judgment on the Plaintiffs' damages claim, concluding that the Plaintiffs lacked standing under Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, 431 U.S. 720, 97 S.Ct. 2061, 52 L.Ed.2d 707 (1977). In 2001, the Plaintiffs brought the Jersey Dental suit against Dentsply as well as several of its Dealers, again alleging several antitrust conspiracies and again asking for damages and injunctive relief, and the District Court again dismissed the Plaintiffs' damages claims on the basis of Illinois Brick. The District Court also denied the Plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend their complaint, concluding that the proposed amendment would be futile. The Plaintiffs thereafter brought an interlocutory appeal in this Court.

On appeal, we affirmed in part and reversed in part. Hess I, 424 F.3d 363. We held that in Hess the Plaintiffs could not recover damages under a coconspirator exception or a control exception to Illinois Brick and could not recover non-overcharge damages. In Jersey Dental, we held that the Plaintiffs did not have statutory standing to recover lost profits damages but that they did have statutory standing to recover damages from Dentsply for its alleged price-fixing conspiracy with its Dealers. While we adopted a "limited" general coconspirator exception to Illinois Brick, we found that exception inapplicable to the Plaintiffs, and thus concluded that they could not pursue damages under the coconspirator exception. Hess I, 424 F.3d at 383-84. In summary, we held that the Plaintiffs could not recover any damages in Hess and most damages in Jersey Dental. We concluded that the Plaintiffs did have standing under the coconspirator exception for overcharge damages "caused by the alleged retail price-fixing conspiracy, although not for the alleged exclusive-dealing conspiracy." Id. at 384 (footnote omitted).

On remand, the Plaintiffs filed a five-count amended complaint in Jersey Dental. In Count One, they re-alleged their conspiracy to restrain trade claim under Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Counts Two and Three asserted conspiracies to monopolize under Section 2 of the Sherman Act against the Dealers and Dentsply, respectively. Count Two sought damages as well as injunctive and declaratory relief while Count Three sought only injunctive and declaratory relief. Counts Four and Five asserted conspiracies to restrain trade under Section 1 of the Sherman Act against the Dealers and Dentsply, respectively, again seeking both damages as well as injunctive relief as to the Dealers and only injunctive and declaratory relief as to Dentsply. Motion practice ensued. In Jersey Dental, the Dealers moved to dismiss Counts Two and Four of the amended complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), as did Dentsply as to Counts Three and Five. In Hess, the Plaintiffs moved for summary judgment on their monopolization claim under Section 2 of the Sherman Act against Dentsply. The District Court denied the Plaintiffs' summary judgment motion in Hess and granted both the Dealers' and Dentsply's respective motions to dismiss in Jersey Dental, and dismissed Counts Two through Five of the amended complaint.2Howard Hess Dental Labs., Inc. v. Dentsply Int'l, Inc., 516 F.Supp.2d 324 (D.Del. 2007) ("Howard Hess I").

The Plaintiffs in Hess subsequently filed what they styled as a motion to supplement the record and to amend the District Court's summary judgment ruling, asking for permission to provide the District Court with evidence to show the existence of anticompetitive injury. Meanwhile, in Jersey Dental the Plaintiffs moved for certification of appealability of the District Court's dismissal of their claims in the amended complaint. In ruling on the motion to amend and the motion for certification, Howard Hess Dental Labs., Inc. v. Dentsply Int'l, Inc., Nos. 99-255 & 01-267, 2008 WL 114354, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1487 (D.Del. Jan. 8, 2008) ("Howard Hess II"), the District Court construed the motion to amend as one for reconsideration and denied it, finding that the Plaintiffs' proposed evidence was not relevant. The District Court granted the motion for certification and certified for appeal the dismissal of Counts Two through Five of the amended complaint in Jersey Dental. The District Court in Hess noted that "the parties, through their litigation strategies, have made it awkward procedurally to close...

To continue reading

Request your trial
697 cases
  • LTL Mgmt., LLC v. Those Parties Listed on Appendix a to Complaint (In re LTL Mgmt., LLC)
    • United States
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of New Jersey
    • February 25, 2022
    ...the party being precluded from relitigating the issue was fully represented in the prior action. " Howard Hess Dental Labs. Inc. v. Dentsply Int'l, Inc. , 602 F.3d 237, 247–48 (3d Cir. 2010) (quoting Szehinskyj v. Att'y Gen ., 432 F.3d 253, 255 (3d Cir. 2005) ). Collateral estoppel will als......
  • In re Congoleum Corp.
    • United States
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of New Jersey
    • January 7, 2022
    ...the party being precluded from relitigating the issue was fully represented in the prior action." Howard Hess Dental Labs. Inc. v. Dentsply Int'l, Inc. , 602 F.3d 237, 247–48 (3d Cir. 2010) (quoting Szehinskyj v. Att'y Gen ., 432 F.3d 253, 255 (3d Cir. 2005) ). Collateral estoppel will also......
  • Kaul v. Christie
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of New Jersey
    • February 25, 2019
    ...Martin B. Glauser Dodge Co. v. Chrysler Corp. , 570 F.2d 72, 81-82 (3d Cir. 1977) ; accord Howard Hess Dental Laboratories Inc. v. Dentsply Int'l, Inc. , 602 F.3d 237, 253 (3d Cir. 2010) ("A plaintiff asserting a Section 1 claim ... must allege four elements: ‘(1) concerted action by the de......
  • Fed. Trade Comm'n v. Abbvie Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • June 29, 2018
    ...both direct and circumstantial evidence when evaluating defendants' subjective intent. See Howard Hess Dental Labs. Inc. v. Dentsply Intern., Inc., 602 F.3d 237, 257-58 (3d Cir. 2010) (citing Advo, Inc. v. Phila. Newspapers, Inc., 51 F.3d 1191, 1199 (3d Cir. 1995) ). We may determine what w......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 books & journal articles
  • Table of Cases
    • United States
    • ABA Antitrust Library Pharmaceutical Industry Antitrust Handbook. Second Edition
    • December 8, 2018
    ...Avionics Sys., 343 F. Supp. 2d 272 (D. Del. 2004), aff’d 488 F.3d 982 (Fed. Cir. 2007), 311 Howard Hess Dental Labs. v. Dentsply Int’l, 602 F.3d 237 (3d Cir. 2010), 367 Hydril Co. v. Grant Prideco LP, 474 F.3d 1344 (Fed. Cir. 2007), 307 Hydrogen Peroxide Antitrust Litig., In re , 552 F.3d 3......
  • Table of Cases
    • United States
    • ABA Antitrust Library Telecom Antitrust Handbook. Third Edition
    • December 9, 2019
    ...Howard Hess Dental Labs. Inc. v. Dentsply Int’l, 516 F. Supp. 2d 324 (D. Del. 2007), 144 Howard Hess Dental Labs. Inc. v. Dentsply Int’l, 602 F.3d 237 (3d Cir. 2010), 143 Hush-A-Phone Corp. v. United States, 238 F.2d 266 (D.C. Cir. 1956), 78, 306 In re Hydrogen Peroxide Antitrust Litig., 55......
  • Collateral Estoppel and Prima Facie Effect
    • United States
    • ABA Antitrust Library Antitrust Evidence Handbook
    • January 1, 2016
    ...issues that have been raised, litigated, and adjudicated as between the parties. Howard Hess Dental Labs Inc. v. Dentsply Int’l, Inc. , 602 F.3d 237, 247-48 (3d Cir. 2010); Pool Water Prods. v. Olin Corp., 258 F.3d 1024, 1031 (9th Cir. 2001); La Preferida v. Cerveceria Modelo, S.A. de C.V.,......
  • Section 2 of The Sherman Act
    • United States
    • ABA Antitrust Library Model Jury Instructions in Civil Antitrust Cases
    • December 8, 2016
    ...ed. 2012). In that situation, the instruction should be modified accordingly. 1. See, e.g. , Howard Hess Dental Labs. v. Dentsply Int’l, 602 F.3d 237, 257 (3d Cir. 2010); Truck-Rail Handling, Inc. v. Burlington N. & Santa Fe. Ry., 244 F. App’x 130, 132 (9th Cir. 2007); Paladin Assocs. v. Mo......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT