Chase Manufacturing, Inc. V. Johns Manville Corporation

  • Court: United States District Court, Colorado, Denver
  • Case number: 1:19cv872
  • Filed: March 22, 2019
  • Judge: Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty
  • Case type: Antitrust (410)

Parties Involved

  • Plaintiff: Chase Manufacturing, Inc. d/b/a Thermal Pipe Shields
    • Counsel for Plaintiff: Geoffrey N. Blue | Alexandra H. Shear | Eric R. Olson | Isabel Juliana Broer | James F. Lerner | Jarod Michael Bona | Kenzo Sunao Kawanabe | Luke Hasskamp | Sean C. Grimsley
    • Expert Witnesses for Plantiff: Frederick Warren-Boulton
  • Defendant: Johns Manville Corporation | Industrial Insulation Group, LLC (later terminated on August 08, 2019)

Verdict Information

  • Verdict date: May 3, 2024
  • Total damages awarded to Plaintiff: $6,784,042

About the Case


In this antitrust lawsuit, Thermal Pipe Shields (Plaintiff) sued Johns Manville Corporation (Defendant) for monopolizing the insulation market with illegal tactics. Johns Manville threatened to cut off distributors who bought from Thermal Pipe Shields and tied sales of their products to essential items. They also falsely disparaged Thermal Pipe Shields’ product quality. Both companies sold industrial insulation, but Johns Manville held 98% of the U.S. market, valued at $45 to $50 million annually.

Calsil, a type of calcium silicate insulation, replaced asbestos in the 1970s. Originally, eight U.S. factories produced calsil, but only Johns Manville’s two factories remained. In 2002, Johns Manville formed a joint venture, Industrial Insulation Group (IIG), with Calsilite, consolidating U.S. calsil production. In 2012, Johns Manville bought out Calsilite, making IIG a subsidiary. They imported calsil from a Chinese factory until shifting production back to the U.S.

In 2017, BEC Industrial (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. offered Thermal Pipe Shields exclusive U.S. importing rights. Despite successful product tests, Johns Manville attempted to hinder Thermal Pipe Shields’ market entry. They threatened David Shong, Thermal Pipe Shields’ new Vice President and former Johns Manville manager, and accused him of confidentiality breaches. Johns Manville also intimidated distributors, threatening to cut off supplies if they bought from Thermal Pipe Shields.

Johns Manville falsely claimed the Chinese calsil was substandard and possibly contained asbestos, despite having tried to purchase from BEC themselves. By early 2019, they threatened customers with cutting off all Johns Manville products if they bought from Thermal Pipe Shields. Due to these tactics, Thermal Pipe Shields sold less than $1 million of their calsil, TPSX-12™, despite it being cheaper and meeting ASTM standards. They argued that without Johns Manville’s anticompetitive actions, they would have sold much more, benefitting customers with lower prices and better competition. Consequently, they filed an antitrust lawsuit against the Defendant.


As a result of Johns Manville Corporation’s antitrust tactics, Thermal Pipe Shields had been significantly financially harmed. The anti-competitive measures employed by Johns Manville Corporation had resulted in loss of potential consumers and sales. It was claimed that the damages caused was no less than $20 million.


Thermal Pipe Shields requested the court to issue an injunction preventing Johns Manville from engaging in any anti-competitive or defamatory actions, such as tying sales, forcing full-line purchases, refusing to deal with customers who bought from Thermal Pipe Shields, and imposing restrictive specifications designed to exclude Thermal Pipe Shields’ products. They sought actual damages, estimated to be at least $20 million, to be determined at trial, along with a request to triple these damages. Additionally, they asked for reasonable attorneys’ fees and coverage of the action’s costs and expenses. Finally, they requested a jury trial.

Jury Verdict

On May 3, 2024, a Colorado jury of 8 in a special verdict form declared in the present antitrust lawsuit that due to Johns Manville Corporation’s unlawful monopolization, Thermal Pipe Shields had suffered damages of about $6,784,042. The jury found that the Plaintiff had sufficiently proved that Johns Manville Corporation possessed monopoly power in the relevant market and had engaged in anticompetitive threats to withhold its products from customers if such customers did business with Thermal Pipe Shields.

However, on May 14, 2024, Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty in the final judgment in favour of the Plaintiff awarded a sum of $20,352,126.00 against the Defendants, which was three times the amount of the jury’s award of $6,784,042.00, under the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 15(a)

Court Documents

Available upon request