Car Carriers, Inc. v. Ford Motor Company

789 F.2d 589 (7th Cir. 1989)


Car Carriers, (P) and others brought claims against Ford (D). P accused D of conspiring to violate 15 USC 1 with five remaining counts asserting pendent state law claims. The district court dismissed the action finding that P failed to suffer the type of harm antitrust laws were designed to recompense. The court dismissed the claims with prejudice as the claim was noncurable. The court then declined pendent jurisdiction over the remaining claims. This was affirmed on appeal. P filed another complaint with 24 counts alleging RICO violations and violation of interstate commerce law with 17 of the counts alleging violations of Illinois law. The action was dismissed again in that the federal claims arose from the same basic fact situation as the prior dismissed lawsuit and were thus barred by res judicata. This appeal followed. P’s basic complaint was that D entered into contracts which were designed to restrain trade. D did this by selecting a target carrier and required them to make substantial investments in new equipment for which D would promise additional traffic and complete agreement with increased tariff rates necessary to pay for the new equipment. After they acquired the equipment, D would prevent and opposed any rate increases. P also alleged that D prevented the sale or merger of their businesses and D would then terminate its relationship with the target carrier so that other carriers could then acquire the assets at distressed prices. P alleged that D directed P to sell its assets to E&L but that D unreasonably interfered with the agreement and to repudiate an executed letter of intent. D also induced P to purchase $6 million in new equipment under the premise that P would be able to recoup the expenses by higher tariffs. D acted in contravention and refused to allow adequate published tariff rates or other compensation. P also alleged that D prevented P from acquiring ATI and then terminated ATI and allowed favored carriers to acquire the business on knowingly sham bids. D then terminated P and when it tried to sell its assets to NuCar D and NuCar insisted on walk away and other onerous provisions along with unacceptable covenants and releases of P’s claims against D and NuCar. P’s appealed and ask this court to reject fact-based res judicata and relief from res judicata in that some of the facts they premised their prior suit on where unknown and recently discovered after judgment in the original suit.