PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 20, 2010) — The Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has turned down a request by Specialty Tires of America Inc. (STA) to rehear its appeal of an antitrust suit against fellow race tire maker Hoosier Racing Tire Corp., thereby affirming the lower court's ruling in favor of Hoosier.
STA had petitioned the appeals court for a rehearing “en banc”—meaning the entire court should hear the case, not just a three-judge panel as happened in the original appeal—arguing the court “misapprehended” key elements of the case and ignored precedent.
The Appeals Court released its judgment on STA's petition on Aug. 26.
That same court had confirmed on July 23 that single-tire or “spec tire” rules in dirt oval track racing were legal under U.S. antitrust laws, and that Lakeville, Ind.-based Hoosier Tire had not violated the law in contracting to supply such tires, Hoosier Tire said in its summary of the verdict.
The court affirmed the dismissal of all claims against Hoosier and co-defendant Dirt Motor Sports. The appeal—Race Tires of America Inc. et al. v. Hoosier Racing Tire Corp., et al—was filed Oct. 9 by Race Tires of America's parent company, Indiana, Pa.-based STA, after the District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania dismissed STA's antitrust lawsuit against Hoosier a few weeks earlier.
STA had made three key assertions for rehearing the case:
- The panel “misapprehended” STA's challenge, which it claims is the “anti-competitive restraints of Hoosier's longterm contracts” and not to single-tire rules themselves;
- The panel overlooked the legal standard on summary judgment; and
- The full court should rehear the case en banc to “maintain uniformity” with previous decisions by the same court.
Asked about the court's ruling, STA said: “The next step is to petition the Supreme Court.”