A Portland jury on Monday ordered Weyerhaeuser to pay almost $28 million for unlawfully monopolizing the market for finished alder lumber...
A Portland jury on Monday ordered Weyerhaeuser to pay almost $28 million for unlawfully monopolizing the market for finished alder lumber.
The award will be tripled under federal antitrust laws.
“We are very disappointed with the verdict,” said Sandy McDade, Weyerhaeuser senior vice president and general counsel.
“We are confident it will be reversed on appeal, because last year the U.S. Supreme Court decided in our favor a case presenting virtually identical issues. We fully expect that the Court of Appeals will apply that precedent.”
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Morelock Enterprises, of Bend, Ore., filed the suit four years ago, and it was later granted class-action status.
The U.S. Supreme Court last year tossed out a $79 million judgment against Weyerhaeuser.
In that suit, a Vancouver, Wash., company convinced an Oregon jury that Weyerhaeuser paid too much for alder logs it didn’t need, with the goal of driving competitors out of business.
This class-action lawsuit was filed while that case was under appeal.
Morelock alleged that by controlling the logs, Weyerhaeuser was able to monopolize the market for finished alder, the Northwest’s leading hardwood lumber that is used in furniture and specialty products such as guitars.
Weyerhaeuser, based in Federal Way, is one of the world’s largest forest-products companies. Sales last year were $16.3 billion.