Connecticut v. H.I. Stone & Son, Inc., Ct. Super. Ct., Hartford Dist. Oct. 22.2014

Plaintiff state alleged that the town of Southbury in October 2011 decided to put its snow removal contract out to bid, rather than offering it to the defendants without competition. According to the complaint, the defendants colluded and jointly refused to deal with the town and plow for the fast approaching nor’easter unless they were given a guaranteed minimum contract for a larger portion of that winter season. In the face of this threat, and with the impending storm posing a potential threat to public safety, the town agreed. The town later put out a bid for the remainder of its snow removal work for the 2011-to-2012 winter season. According to the complaint, the defendants again colluded and entered into a conspiracy with one another designed to eliminate competition among them and substantially raise the prices they received for snowplowing services from the town. Under the settlement agreement, the three corporate defendants will pay the state $30,000 each in civil penalties. The three companies will also provide the town of Southbury with snow removal services at the original rate prior to the conspiracy for a period of three years that will be applied retroactively beginning with the 2013-2014 winter season. In addition to paying civil penalties and providing reduced-rate services to the town of Southbury, each company will establish an antitrust and competition training program that will be provided to the Office of Attorney General for its review on an annual basis.

Read More →