The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has unanimously affirmed Axinn’s 2016 summary judgment victory for Stanley Black & Decker, in which Axinn defeated an antitrust claim seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
Plaintiff SawStop’s 2014 complaint alleged that Stanley Black & Decker and other saw manufacturers conspired to boycott SawStop’s table saw safety technology. According to SawStop, the table saw manufacturers carried out this boycott through a joint venture arranged under the auspices of an industry trade group. But the DOJ published notice of this joint venture in 2003. And the Fourth Circuit held that this public notice, combined with other facts SawStop believed, triggered the four-year statute of limitations. SawStop’s claim thus became time-barred in 2007—more than six years before SawStop filed its complaint.
John Harkrider successfully argued the appeal for Stanley Black & Decker and the other table saw manufacturers. The Axinn team also included Rick Dagen, Ted Mathias, John Tanski, Felix Gilman, Patricia Carreiro, Michael O’Mara and Brooke Oppenheimer. Stanley Black & Decker’s co-defendants included Bosch, represented by Layne Kruse of Norton Rose Fulbright, and Ryobi, represented by Jim Kress of Baker Botts and Scott Hansen of Reinhard Boerner & Van Deuren. SawStop was represented by Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart & Sullivan.
The Fourth Circuit’s opinion is available at http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinions/162317.P.pdf.