Brunswick Corporation v. Pueblo Bowl-O-Mat, Inc.

PETITIONER: Brunswick Corporation
RESPONDENT: Pueblo Bowl-O-Mat, Inc.
LOCATION: Alabama Department of Corrections

DOCKET NO.: 75-904
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

CITATION: 429 US 477 (1977)
ARGUED: Nov 03, 1976
DECIDED: Jan 25, 1977

ADVOCATES:
Bernard G. Segal - for petitioner
Malcolm A. Hoffmann - for respondents

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Brunswick Corporation v. Pueblo Bowl-O-Mat, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 03, 1976 in Brunswick Corporation v. Pueblo Bowl-O-Mat, Inc.

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - January 25, 1977 in Brunswick Corporation v. Pueblo Bowl-O-Mat, Inc.

Warren E. Burger:

The judgments and opinions of the Court in 75-904, Brunswick Corporation against Pueblo will be announced by Mr. Justice Marshall.

Thurgood Marshall:

This case is here on writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

The petitioner is one of the two largest manufacturers of bowling equipment in United States.

And the respondents have three bowling centers located in distinct markets.

Respondents brought his antitrust action claiming that the petitioner accusations of competing bowling centers that had defaulted on payments owed to petitioner violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act.

The respondent sought damages for the progress they would have earned and petitioner is allowed the defaulting centers to close.

The jury was instructed in the Court with this damage theory and they returned the verdict for respondents which went treble exceeded six million dollars.

The Court of Appeals while finding certain instructional errors that require a new trial indulged the damage theory on which respondent's case was based.

Specifically it held convincible any laws “casually linked to the mere presence of violators in the market.”

By an opinion filed today with the clerk, we hold that to recover damages in an antitrust action, plaintiff must prove injury that reflects the anticompetitive effects of either the violation or anticompetitive acts made possible by the violation to allow all casually linked losses to be compensated, we conclude, with divorce antitrust recovery from the purposes of the antitrust laws.

As in a clear statutory command, we are unprepared to do so.

Because the respondents did not prove any compensable injury and they have not offered any justification for allowing them another opportunity to do so, we vacate the judgment at the Court of Appeals and remand the case with instructions to enter a judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the damage claim.

On remand, the respondents were remained free to seek equitable relief.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Marshall.