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MYD Marine Distributor, Inc. v. International Paint Ltd.

Florida Court of Appeal, Fourth District

December 14, 2011

MYD MARINE DISTRIBUTOR, INC., a Florida corporation, MYD Marine Distributor, Inc., a California corporation, and MYD Mid-Atlantic, Inc., a Maryland corporation, Appellants,
v.
INTERNATIONAL PAINT LTD., International Paint LLC, Donovan Marine, Inc., and East Coast Marine Distributors, Inc., Appellees.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Scott E. Perwin of Kenny Nachwalter et al., Miami, for appellants.

Cristina Alonso and Charles M. Rosenberg of Carlton Fields, P.A., Miami, and Daniel G. Swanson of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, Los Angeles, CA, for appellees International Paint, Ltd. and International Paint, LLC.

A. Rodger Traynor, Jr., Ronald B. Ravikoff and Francisco A. Rodriguez of Akerman Senterfitt, Miami, for appellee Donovan Marine, Inc.

Charles A. Morehead, III of Moody, Jones, Ingino & Morehead, P.A., Plantation, for appellee East Coast Marine Distributors, Inc.

CIKLIN, J.

MYD Marine Distributor, Inc. and two affiliated companies [1] (collectively referred to as " MYD" ) appeal the trial court's final order dismissing their antitrust claims with prejudice for failure to state a cause of action. Because we conclude that the amended complaint sufficiently alleges antitrust claims, we reverse.

MYD, as a distributor of marine paint and related products, purchases the paint and other goods it distributes from manufacturers and resells them to yacht builders, boatyards, and other customers who use marine paint in their businesses. Until it was terminated in November 2008, MYD was a distributor of Awlgrip topside yacht paint.[2] The appellees, International Paint Ltd. and International Paint LLC (collectively referred to as " International Paint" ), manufacture Awlgrip paint.

In December 2008, MYD filed suit against International Paint and two competing Awlgrip distributors— Donovan Marine, Inc. (" Donovan" ) and East Coast Marine Distributors, Inc. d/b/a Gold Coast Marine Distributor (" Gold Coast" ). In its complaint, MYD asserted claims under the state antitrust laws of Florida, California, and Maryland respectively. After its initial complaint was dismissed for failure to state a cause of action, MYD filed an amended complaint. The defendants again moved to dismiss.

In its amended complaint, MYD alleged that it was the largest distributor of Awlgrip paint in North America and that it consistently sold " its products at significantly lower prices than the prices charged by its competitors." MYD then claimed that several competing distributors of Awlgrip paint (including Donovan and Gold Coast) conspired with one another and with International Paint to " eliminate the

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competitive threat posed by MYD's discounting and to raise prices to the levels charged by the conspiring distributors."

MYD next described specific instances where the " unlawful conspiracy" had been " either acknowledged or carried out by members of the conspiracy in the presence of witnesses." The paragraph of the amended complaint which is relevant to ...


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