By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: February 21, 2007
WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (AP) — The Supreme Court threw out a $79 million award against the Weyerhaeuser Company on Tuesday in a lawsuit accusing the company of trying to monopolize the hardwood lumber market in the Pacific Northwest.
The decision, which was unanimous, came in the case of a defunct lumber mill that said it was driven out of business when Weyerhaeuser overpaid for logs that it allegedly did not need.
The ruling overturned a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which had affirmed a jury’s award to the mill operator, the Ross-Simmons Hardwood Lumber Company. The jury, which determined that Weyerhaeuser had violated federal antitrust law, returned a $26 million verdict, which was tripled to $79 million.
Ross-Simmons accused Weyerhaeuser of paying too much for alder logs and not using what it bought. Alder is used in furniture and specialty products like picture frames and musical instruments.