The opinion of the court was delivered by: BRODERICK
In November, 1973, plaintiff, pro se, filed a "Petition" with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to enjoin defendants, General Motors Corporation ("GM"), Chrysler Corporation ("Chrysler"), Ford Motor Company ("Ford") and American Motors Corporation ("American Motors") from (1) refusing to deal with new companies and consequently restraining new companies from entering the automotive components market; (2) raising prices on cars (and other products) without having exhausted opportunities to decrease manufacturing costs; and (3) considering issues other than merits of quality, price, capability and citizenship in selecting suppliers.
On November 30, 1973, Judge Hart transferred this case to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. On February 13, 1974, plaintiff filed an "Application to Amend the Complaint" in which he alleged that the defendants restricted him from entering into the automotive engineering field, and from freely enjoying and practicing his trade. All defendants have answered the amended complaint.
Plaintiff has alleged violations of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3) and the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1, 2 and 3. He contends that he is entitled to relief because: (1) the defendants deceived and defrauded him and induced him to spend his time and resources in developing products and endeavoring to sell them; (2) he exhibited prototypes showing that his products were safer and considerably less costly than those presently used by the defendants, which would result in a saving to each defendant of several million dollars per year; and (3) since February, 1973, he has suffered $90,000,000 per year in lost profits due to defendants' refusal to deal. At a hearing in connection with this matter the parties agreed to accept testimony presented by the plaintiff before Judge Van Artsdalen in Raitport v. General Motors, No. 73-2054 (E.D. Pa., filed May 28, 1975), in which plaintiff alleged inter alia that two of the four defendants in this case (GM and Chrysler) refusal to deal violated §§ 1983 and 1985(3) of the Civil Rights Act and §§ 1, 2 and 3 of the Sherman Act.
In memoranda and orders dated May 28, 1975 and November 12, 1975, Judge Van Artsdalen granted defendants' motions for summary judgment on the ground that plaintiff had failed to state a valid claim for relief under either the Sherman or Civil Rights Acts. Thus, with respect to plaintiff's claims against GM and Chrysler, he is estopped from relitigating these same claims under the doctrine of res judicata. Accordingly, summary judgment will be entered in favor of these defendants on this ground.
The rule provides that when a court of competent jurisdiction has entered a final judgment on the merits of a cause of action, the parties to the suit and their privies are thereafter bound "not only as to every matter which was offered and received to sustain or defeat the claim or demand, but as to any other admissible matter which might have been offered for that purpose."
See also, Gulf Oil Corp. v. Federal Power Commission, 563 F.2d 588, 602 (3d Cir. 1977); Donegal Steel Foundry Co. v. Accurate Products Co., 516 F.2d 583, 587 (3d Cir. 1977); Sworob v. Harris, 451 F. Supp. 96, 99 (E.D. Pa. 1978).
Plaintiff has had a full and fair opportunity to litigate these same claims with respect to GM and Chrysler before Judge Van Artsdalen.
In fact, "possibly in an overabundance of caution", Judge Van Artsdalen withheld entering summary judgment on plaintiff's antitrust allegations for over six months to allow the plaintiff an additional opportunity to develop and present competent and credible factual evidence in support of his claims. Raitport v. General Motors Corporation, No. 73-2054 at 13 (E.D. Pa., filed May 28, 1975). Only after plaintiff failed to present any such evidence did Judge Van Artsdalen grant defendants' motions for summary judgment. We hold that plaintiff is barred from relitigating these claims, or any claims which he should have raised in that action, against GM and Chrysler in this proceeding. He is bound by the judgment of the earlier case. 1B Moore's Federal Practice para. 0.405.
In connection with defendants' motion for summary judgment, it is clear that the moving party has the burden of demonstrating that there is no genuine issue of material fact. Fairbanks, Morse & Co. v. Consolidated Fisheries Co., 190 F.2d 817, 824 (3d Cir. 1951), quoted with approval in Ettinger v. Johnson, 556 F.2d 692, 696 (3d Cir. 1977). Moreover, in considering the motion for summary judgment, the Court must view the evidence in a light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. Goodman ...