United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Sherman Division
OGD EQUIPMENT CO. d/b/a OVERHEAD GARAGE DOOR, LLC, Plaintiff,
OVERHEAD DOOR CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
L. MAZZANT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
for consideration the report of the United States Magistrate
Judge in this action, this matter having been heretofore
referred to the Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636. On August 7, 2019, the report of the Magistrate Judge
(the “Report”) (Dkt. #98) was entered, containing
proposed findings of fact and recommending that Defendants
Overhead Door Corporation (“Overhead”) and
Overhead Door Company of Lubbock, Inc.'s
“Defendants”) Supplemental Motion to Dismiss for
Failure to State a Claim and for Exceeding the Court's
Order Granting Leave to Amend (the “Supplemental Motion
to Dismiss”) (Dkt. #82) be denied.
filed objections to the Report (the “Objections”)
(Dkt. #115) and Plaintiff OGD Equipment Company d/b/a
Overhead Garage Door, LLC (“OGD”) filed a
response to the Objections (Dkt. #130). The Court has made a
de novo review of the Objections and is of the
opinion that the findings and conclusions of the Magistrate
Judge are correct and the Objections are without merit as to
the ultimate findings of the Magistrate Judge. The Court
hereby adopts the findings and conclusions of the Magistrate
Judge as the findings and conclusions of the Court.
a Texas company, in the business of residential and
commercial door repair and installation. See Dkt.
#43 at 3. Defendant Overhead is a national manufacturer,
marketer, and distributor of residential and commercial
overhead doors. See id. at 4. Defendant
Overhead-Lubbock is a regional distributor for Overhead,
based in Lubbock, Texas. See id.
12, 2019, OGD made an oral motion to amend its complaint,
see Dkt. #77, which was subsequently granted by the
Magistrate Judge on the condition that any amendment be
limited to OGD's antitrust claim, within the geographic
market of Lubbock, Texas. See Dkt. #78. OGD was not
permitted to amend additional claims. See id.
Defendants objected to the Magistrate Judge's Order,
see Dkt. #91, and the objections were overruled.
See Dkt. #97. Accordingly, OGD filed an Amended
Complaint (Dkt. #81). Thereafter, Defendants filed the
Supplemental Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. #82), OGD filed a
response (Dkt. #83), Defendants filed a reply (Dkt. #84), and
OGD filed a sur-reply (Dkt. #89). As all other claims were
addressed in the previous Motions to Dismiss (Dkts. #51,
#55), the Supplemental Motion to Dismiss addresses only
OGD's Sherman Act claim. See Dkt. #82. The
Report recommends the Supplemental Motion to Dismiss be
denied. See Dkt. #80 at 27. Defendants filed
Objections (Dkt. #115). OGD filed no objections to the
argue the Report erred and OGD's antitrust claim must be
dismissed because: (1) OGD's amended antitrust claim
exceeds the scope of the amendment allowed pursuant to the
July 15, 2019, Order; and (2) OGD's market definition is
implausible. See Dkt. #115.
Defendants object to the Report on the basis that OGD's
amendment exceeds the amendment allowed by the July 15, 2019,
Order. See Dkt. #115 at 4. Having compared the Order
(Dkt. #78), the Second Amended Complaint (Dkt. #81), and the
First Amended Complaint (Dkt. #43), the Court finds the
amendments to OGD's Sherman Act claim comply with the
Order, as all amendments addressed in the Supplemental Motion
to Dismiss and Objections relate to OGD's antitrust
claim, defining a geographic market around Lubbock, Texas. As
such, this objection is OVERRULED.
Defendants argue the Report erred because OGD's
geographic market definition is implausible. See
Dkt. #115 at 2. As a prerequisite for filing an antitrust
claim, a plaintiff must define the relevant geographic market
by the “area of effective competition.” See
Wampler v. Sw Bell Tel. Co., 597 F.3d 741, 744 (5th Cir.
2010). “This is an area in which the seller operates
and to which buyers can practicably turn for supplies.”
Id. Defendants argue that OGD fails to adequately
define the market based on the customer's ability to
purchase substitute services. See Dkt. #115 at 2-3.
OGD alleges: (1) customers in the geographic market use
online search terms, including the word “Lubbock,
” in their hunt for overhead doors, thereby limiting
the relevant market; (2) customers looking for overhead doors
are seeking a fast installation, and that due to
transportation, wait time, and the size and weight of
shipments, customers in the Lubbock Market cannot be
effectively served by sellers outside the geographic market.
See Dkt. #81 at 26-29. Accepting all well-pleaded
facts contained in the Second Amended Complaint as true, the
Court agrees with the Report's finding that “OGD
has satisfied its burden to define the relevant geographic
market.” See Dkt. #98 at 6. Further, the Court
agrees with the Report's conclusion that whether
“the Lubbock Market is not in fact the relevant market
for overhead doors or [whether] consumers within the Lubbock
Market can viably turn to suppliers outside the Lubbock
market . . . [those questions are] a fact-intensive inquiry
and therefore a matter for summary judgment-not a Rule
12(b)(6) motion.” See Dkt. #98 at 6.
Accordingly, this objection is OVERRULED
on the foregoing, Defendants Overhead Door Corporation and
Overhead Door Company of Lubbock, Inc.'s Motion to
Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim and for Exceeding the
Court's Order Granting Leave to Amend (Dkt. #82) is