The Joseph Saveri Law Firm is Interim Co-Lead Counsel for a proposed Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs Class of individuals and companies who purchased interior molded doors from Defendants JELD-WEN, Inc. (Charlotte, NC) and Masonite Corporation (Tampa, FL). Plaintiffs allege that as a result of Defendants’ alleged anticompetitive conduct, Plaintiffs and other potential Class members paid more for doors than they would have in a competitive environment.
This action is brought under Clayton Act Section 16 to secure injunctive relief against Defendants for violating Section 1 of the Sherman Act, and for damages under state antitrust and consumer protection statutes. Per the Class Action Complaint, Plaintiffs seek to recover actual and/or compensatory damages, double and treble damages as permitted, pre- and post-judgment interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees for injury caused by Defendants’ conduct in anticompetitively increasing the price of doors. Trial is set for 2020.
Interior molded doors are the most popular type of interior doors in North America. Most interior doors sold in North America are molded doors, which simulate the aesthetics of solid woods doors but can be manufactured and sold at lower prices. These doors are generally hollow, with an interior frame construction that is masked by a molded doorskin, which comprises up to 70% of the cost of door manufacturing. Defendants manufacture both doors and doorskins. The markets for both are highly concentrated and characterized by high barriers to entry due to time and capital requirements.
A 2012 JELD-WEN merger with doorskin manufacturer Craftmaster created a duopoly in which JELD-WEN and Masonite have controlled 100% of the doorskins market. By manufacturing completed doors by using their own doorskins, Defendants have also controlled 75-80% of the doors market, with the remaining market share divided among smaller door manufacturers that do not manufacture doorskins or have nationwide distribution markets. Thus, Defendants’ doors market competitors are simultaneously their doorskins market customers and therefore completely dependent on Defendants for the doorskins necessary to manufacture their doors.
Elements of JELD-WEN’s anticompetitive conduct were proven in Steves and Sons, Inc. v. JELD-WEN, Inc., 3:16-cv-545 (E.D. Va. June 29, 2016). In that suit, Steves and Sons—a competing door manufacturer—alleged violations of the Clayton Act, breach of contract, breach of warranty, and trespass to chattels against JELD-WEN, and sought declaratory judgment and specific performance. In February 2018, the jury returned a favorable verdict for Steves and Sons, finding JELD-WEN in violation of Clayton Act Section 7, awarding $9,933,602 in damages from doorskin overcharges and $46,480,581 for future lost profits. In October 2018, the district court granted Steves and Sons “extraordinary” equitable relief of divestiture of a Pennsylvania doorskins manufacturing plant acquired by JELD-WEN in its 2012 merger with Craftmaster: the first such instance of divestiture in a private Clayton Act Section 16 action.