In re Polyurethane Foam Antitrust Litigation

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Cornerstone Research responded to allegations of price fixing for a manufacturer/supplier of polyurethane foam products.

Retained by Barnes & Thornburg

Purchasers of flexible polyurethane foam alleged a long-running price-fixing conspiracy centering on sales in the United States. Barnes & Thornburg, representing one of the defendants, retained Cornerstone Research and Professor Howard Marvel, professor emeritus at The Ohio State University, as the liability and damages expert.

Professor Marvel’s analysis showed that the defendant’s price increases closely followed the increases in its costs.

Professor Marvel reviewed the economic expert reports filed by the direct, indirect, and opt-out plaintiffs. He demonstrated that the models presented by the plaintiffs’ experts were flawed and produced results that did not make sense from an economic standpoint.

In addition,  Professor Marvel analyzed the defendant company’s capacity expansion, transaction data, cost and price relationships, and price increase announcements. He found that the company significantly expanded its capacity and competed vigorously by undercutting the prices offered by its rivals. His analysis showed that the company’s price increase announcements and price increases closely followed the increases in its costs. Professor Marvel concluded that the company’s actions were inconsistent with its alleged participation in a price-fixing conspiracy and could only be interpreted as those of an aggressive competitor taking independent actions to seize market share from its rivals.

The direct, indirect, and opt-out plaintiffs settled their cases.


For additional information about this case, please contact Kivanç Kirgiz.

Case Expert

Howard P. Marvel

Professor Emeritus of Economics,
The Ohio State University