Anyone who purchased drywall in the past three years.
American Gypsum, Ashford Gypsum Services (ASGI), CertainTeed, Georgia-Pacific, LeFarge North America, New NGC, PABCO Building Products, Temple-Inland (TIN Inc.), United States Gypsum (USG)
Type of Lawsuit
Antitrust class action
Contractors and homeowners have filed several class action lawsuits alleging that sheetrock companies broke the law by secretly agreeing to raise prices. In 2012, the price of drywall in the United States increased by more than 35 percent. In fact, many of the major gypsum manufacturers raised their prices on the exact same day – January 1, 2012. According to the lawsuits, the drywall companies conspired to artificially inflate prices and illegally protect their profits following the housing crash and recession of 2008
What Laws May Have Been Broken?
The lawsuits allege that drywall manufacturers have violated the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act, which are federal laws that prohibit anticompetitive business practices, such as conspiring to fix prices. The companies named in the lawsuits account for over 99 percent of the drywall sold in the United States and Canada and the lawsuits allege that these companies had ample opportunity to meet and conspire to raise prices.
Furthermore, the drywall industry has a history of engaging in anticompetitive behavior. For example, in 2002 the European Union fined four sheetrock companies $455 million for engaging in a price-fixing scheme between 1992 and 1998.
What Companies Are Affected?
These lawsuits specifically allege that the following companies engaged in an illegal scheme to defraud their customers by agreeing to increase the price of drywall:
Ashford Gypsum Services (AGSI)
LaFarge North America
National Gypsum (NGC)
PABCO Building Products
Temple-Inland (also known as TIN Inc.)
Unites States Gypsum (USG)
These companies manufacture and sell almost all of the gypsum board sold in the United States.
I Bought Drywall – What Can I Do?
If these allegations prove to be true, drywall manufacturers may be required to pay compensation to contractors, homeowners and business owners who purchased sheetrock at the artificially inflated prices. Under federal antitrust law, companies that engage in illegal price fixing may be required to pay three times the amount that customers were overcharged.