A split Eighth Circuit recently reversed a prior panel ruling and reignited antitrust claims against distributors of pre-filled propane tanks. The 5-4 majority cited the 1997 Supreme Court decision Klehr v. A.O. Smith Corp. to rule that for allegations of a price-fixing conspiracy under the Sherman Antitrust Act, each sale at an artificially inflated price restarts the statute of limitations.
Few cases in the antitrust canon have been invoked more frequently, for the wrong reasons, than the Third Circuit’s 1977 decision in Bogosian v. Gulf Oil. For four decades now – culminating in the recent release of a decision certifying class in the long-running Mushrooms case – litigants and courts have cited a “presumption” or “short-cut” embedded in Bogosian and argued about whether it suffices to warrant class certification in a given case. This short-cut, however, is more fantasy than reality.