CHARLESTON, W.Va, Oct. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Four cities in West Virginia filed class-action lawsuits today against a group of asphalt companies that have worked together to create a monopoly that has driven up asphalt prices in West Virginia by 40 percent.
The defendants — including West Virginia Paving, Southern West Virginia Paving, Southern West Virginia Asphalt, Kelly Paving and others — are no longer competing but instead have worked together to create a de facto monopoly that allows them to charge inflated prices.
The suits were filed by attorneys Ben Bailey and Mike Hissam, former federal prosecutors who are partners at Bailey & Glasser LLP.
The suits were filed by the City of Charleston in Kanawha County Circuit Court, the City of Parkersburg in Wood County Circuit Court, the City of Beckley in Raleigh County Circuit Court, and the City of Bluefield in Mercer County Circuit Court.
According to the suits, the defendants have cooperated to eliminate competitors and maintain the appearance of a competitive marketplace, while actual competition disappeared. The defendants have gained control of at least 15 asphalt plants in West Virginia that once competed with each other. They have also acquired or combined numerous paving companies, allowing them to control both the supply of asphalt and the actions of paving contractors.
The result has forced customers to pay at least 40 percent more than they should, allowing the companies to reap millions of dollars in overpayments. These overcharges have resulted in less road construction and maintenance. The lawsuit seeks to end this monopolization and recover the overcharges that resulted.
Founded by Ben Bailey and Brian Glasser in 1999 in Charleston, West Virginia, Bailey & Glasser LLP has grown to include 52 lawyers, with offices in nine states and the District of Columbia. The firm's complex litigation practice focuses on high-stakes commercial litigation; class actions for consumers, insureds, investors, and retirement plan participants; catastrophic injury and defective product cases; antitrust; and whistleblower lawsuits. The firm has extensive experience in energy law, and litigates energy cases in trial courts, bankruptcy courts, regulatory agencies, and appellate courts. It has a major corporate practice, and handles business matters ranging from assisting Chinese investors in acquiring US assets, to IPOs, to the negotiation and execution of billions of dollars in commercial transactions.
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SOURCE Bailey & Glasser LLP