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WASHINGTON, April 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to halt a class action lawsuit against several containerboard manufacturers, which could now face trial on claims of price fixing by tens of thousands of buyers and nearly $12 billion in potential damages.
The justices left in place a federal judge's certification of the antitrust class action against manufacturers including International Paper Co, Weyerhaeuser Co, and Georgia-Pacific LLC. The companies argued that individually negotiated pricing regimes with the buyers should preclude class action certification.
The defendants make containerboard, a heavy stock paper used to produce a variety of cardboard products, from shipping containers to takeout pizza boxes. Several containerboard or cardboard product buyers, including Minnesota-based floor care product maker Kleen Products LLC, filed suit in Chicago federal court in 2010 alleging the manufacturers violated U.S. antitrust law.
Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham