Cory Olson obtained a jury verdict dismissing all claims against Anthony Ostlund’s client. The verdict came after an eight-day trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.
The firm’s client, Magnotti & Sons, Inc., is the owner and operator of four retail stores near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania known as the “The Fireplace and Patioplace.” Among the products offered by Magnotti are fireplaces and other hearth products manufactured by Hearth & Home Technologies, Inc.
In March 2012, Hearth & Home terminated its relationship with the plaintiff in the case, J & M Distributing, Inc. At the time of termination, J & M Distributing operated as a wholesale distributor of Hearth & Home products to retailers in areas surrounding the Pittsburgh metro. In response to the termination, J & M brought several claims against Magnotti, including a federal antitrust claim alleging Magnotti had conspired with Hearth & Home to have J & M terminated in order to reduce competition from retailers previously served by J & M.
Prior to trial, Cory successfully obtained a partial dismissal of the claims asserted against Magnotti. But the court determined there was sufficient evidence to allow three claims to proceed to trial, including two claims based on the alleged conspiracy. After eight days of testimony, the jury reached a unanimous verdict in Magnotti’s favor by finding that, among other things, there was no conspiracy between Magnotti and Hearth & Home, resulting in no liability to Magnotti.