Ross & Hardies’ partners, Barbara Baran, Richard J. Rappaport and Darren J. Hunter assisted by associate Samantha Gordon, won a motion to dismiss disposing of a federal antitrust class-action complaint against client, The Peoples Gas Light and Coke Company and North Shore Gas Company.
The plaintiffs claimed that the utilities’ practice of providing natural gas meters and allegedly imposing a “meter rental charge” for their use violated the Sherman and Clayton Acts. In their motion to dismiss, the utilities argued that the plaintiffs’ claims were barred by the filed rate doctrine, forbidding a court from revising a utility’s tariff approved by an administrative agency and the state action exemption insulating state regulatory restraints from antitrust scrutiny. I
n a lengthy Opinion and Order entered by Judge Ronald Guzman on March 26, 2003, the court, holding that the filed rate doctrine and the state action exemption applied, granted the utilities’ motion to dismiss, terminating the litigation.