Where five retail grocers sought to bring class-action antitrust claims against one of two wholesale grocers when each grocer was a customer of just one of the wholesalers and sought to bring suit against the non-signatory wholesaler under the antitrust theory, the antitrust conspiracy claims do not violate the terms of the contract and there was no evidence that the contract anticipated the type of relationship giving rise to the claims, and the non-signatory wholesalers could not use equitable estoppel to compel the retailers to arbitrate their antitrust claims, but the issue of whether the non-signatory wholesalers could compel any of the retailers to arbitrate and the issue of the successor-in-interest are unresolved and remanded.
Judgment is reversed; remanded.
King Cole Foods, Inc. v. SuperValu, Inc. (MLW No. 64681/Case No. 11-3768/11-3773 – 19 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Shepherd, J.) Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, Montgomery, J. (Edward T. Dangel III, Boston, and Richard Bruce Drubel, Hanover, New Hampshire, argued for appellants; Prof. M. David Rosenberg, Kimberly H. Schultz, Matthew J. Henken, Ethan T. Frechette, W. Joseph Bruckner and Elizabeth R. Odette appeared on the brief) (Stephen Paul Safranski, Minneapolis, argued for appellee; Todd Alan Wind, Karl Craig Wildfang, Martin R. Lueck, Damien A. Riehl, Christopher J. MacAvoy, Charles A. Loughlin, and David S. Shotlander appeared on the brief).
Read the full text of this opinion. (PDF)