Illinois Brick Company v. Illinois

PETITIONER: Illinois Brick Company
LOCATION: East Cleveland City Hall

DOCKET NO.: 76-404
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

CITATION: 431 US 720 (1977)
ARGUED: Mar 23, 1977
DECIDED: Jun 09, 1977

Donald I. Baker - for the United States, as amicus curiae, by special leave of Court
Edward H. Hatton - for petitioners
Lee A. Freeman, Jr. - for respondents

Facts of the case


Media for Illinois Brick Company v. Illinois

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - June 09, 1977 in Illinois Brick Company v. Illinois

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinions of the Court in 76-404, Illinois Brick Company against Illinois and in 76-415, Ward against Illinois will each be announced by Mr. Justice White.

Byron R. White:

In the Illinois Brick case, the plaintiffs were several hundred local governmental units in the State of Illinois.

They brought a treble-damage action against the manufacturers of concrete building block.

They alleged that the contractors had conspired illegally to inflate the price of the block and that they had passed on the overcharge to the plaintiffs who had to pay more, therefore, for the buildings and other structures for which they have contracted.

The District Court dismissed the action for one standing, the Court of Appeals reversed and in doing so rejected the defendant's claim that under Hanover Shoe decision decided in this Court some nine or 10 years ago that the only person who's injured in their property or their business for purposes of antitrust laws and for the purposes of this suit were the direct purchasers namely the masonry contractors or the other general contractors you have purchased directly from the -- from the manufacturers of the block.

We have granted certiorari and we reversed.

We think the -- the Court of Appeals was wrong and the contract -- and the defendants were right in their reading of -- of Hanover Shoe and their understanding that -- and in the understanding of the -- of the contractors that under that case only direct purchasers are persons injured in their business or their property.

Mr. Justice Brennan has filed a dissenting opinion which Justices Marshall and Blackmun have joined and Mr. Justice Blackmun has filed a dissenting opinion.