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Texas Industries, Inc. v. Radcliff Materials, Inc.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Wilson P. Abraham Construction Corp. (Abraham) sued Texas Industries, Inc. (Texas) in federal court, claiming that Texas raised prices in violation of federal antitrust laws.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    Federal courts do not maintain a federal common law right of contribution among antitrust violators.

    Facts.

    Wilson P. Abraham Construction Corp. (Abraham) sued Texas Industries, Inc. (Texas) in federal court, claiming that Texas raised prices in violation of federal antitrust laws. During the discovery phase, Abraham believed that Radcliff Materials, Inc. (Radcliff) and two other firms conspired with Texas. Abraham filed a third party complaint against the third party defendants. The district court dismissed the third party complaint and court of appeals affirmed.

    Issue.

    Whether federal courts maintain a federal common law right of contribution among antritrust violators?

    Held.

    No. The judgment of the court of appeals is affirmed. Federal courts may only create common law where there is a need to make a federal decision to serve federal interests, and congress authorized courts to create substantive law. Private parties, as opposed to the federal government, pursue claims regarding federal antitrust statutes however.

    Points of Law - for Law School Success

    A right to contribution under a federal statute may arise in either of two ways: first, through the affirmative creation of a right of action by Congress either expressly or by clear implication; or, second, through the power of federal courts to fashion a federal common law of contribution.

    View Full Point of Law
    Discussion.

    Federal courts do not maintain a federal common law right of contribution among antitrust violators.


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