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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.

    Discussion.

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


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