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Arnold Pontiac-Gmc Inc. v. General Motors Corp.

March 14, 1986

ARNOLD PONTIAC-GMC, INC., APPELLANT
v.
GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION



On Appeal from the United States District Court For the Western District of Pennsylvania, D.C. No. 82-1861.

Author: Mansmann

Opinion OF THE COURT

Before: WEIS, BECKER and MANSMANN, Circuit Judges

MANSMANN, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff, Arnold Pontiac-GMC, Inc. (Arnold Pontiac), challenges in this appeal the grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant, General Motors Corporation (GMC) on numerous counts of a complaint charging breach of contract, anti-trust violations and violation of the Automobile Dealers' Day in Court Act. For the reasons outlined below, we will reverse the district court regarding its dispositions of: 1) the second cause of action in Count V of the complaint concerning the Buick franchise claim arising under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, and 2) the first cause of action in count II of the complaint concerning the motor vehicle allocation claim (Truck Division) arising under the Automobile Dealers' Day in Court Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1221 et seq. In all other matters, we will affirm the district court.

I. The Procedural History

Arnold Pontiac commenced this action by Writ of Summons in Equity in the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County, Pennsylvania. GMC filed a Petition for Removal, causing plaintiff to file a federal court complaint. Arnold Pontiac's eight count complaint essentially asserts these three claims: namely, a Buick franchise claim, a motor vehicle allocation claim and a product offering and pricing claim. The following itemization best summarizes the individual claims and their bases:

Place of

Assertion in

Claim Basis for Claim Complaint

Buick franchise common law breach First Cause of

claim of contract Action, Count I

motor vehicle Automobile Dealers' First Cause of

allocation claim Day in Court Act, Action, Count II

(Truck Division) 15 U.S.C. §§ 1221

et seq.

motor vehicle Automobile Dealers' First Cause of

allocation claims Day in Court Act Action, Count III

(Pontiac Division) 15 U.S.C. §§ 1221

et seq.

product offering and Sherman Act, Second Cause of

pricing claim Section 1, Action, Count I

(Pontiac Division) 15 U.S.C. § 1

product offering and Sherman Act, Second Cause of

pricing claim Section 2, Action, Count II

(Pontiac Division) 15 U.S.C. § 2.

motor vehicle Sherman Act, Second Cause of

allocation claim Section 1, Action, Count III

(Truck Division) 15 U.S.C. § 1

motor vehicle Sherman Act, Second Cause of

allocation claim Section 2, Action, Count IV

(Truck Division) 15 U.S.C. § 2

Buick franchise Sherman Act, Second Cause of

claims Sections 1,2 Action, Count V

15 U.S.C. §§ 1,2

In an order dated February 22, 1984, the district court granted GMC's Motions for Partial Summary Judgment and dismissed with prejudice all claims asserted in the complaint, except the First Cause of Action, Count II. Arnold Pontiac subsequently sought to have this interlocutory order certified for appeal purposes pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b). This request for certification was denied by the district court by an order dated April 3, 1984, which also included a denial ...


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