Federal Court Jury Awards Verdict Worth $20 Million in Antitrust Case Against Berkshire Hathaway’s Johns Manville

Olson Grimsley: Company made systematic, illegal attempt to maintain monopoly 


DENVER – A federal court jury in Denver has found in favor of manufacturer Thermal Pipe Shields, Inc. (TPS) in its antitrust case against Johns Manville Corporation, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, and awarded TPS $6.78 million. Because the law calls for treble damages, the award is worth $20.35 million, plus attorneys fees. 


The verdict, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, follows a nearly five-year battle over calcium silicate pipe insulation, known as “calsil,” which is used on industrial systems operating at extreme temperatures. Before TPS entered the market in 2018, Johns Manville manufactured and sold over 95% of the calsil in the United States.  


Testimony in the case showed that when TPS began selling a higher quality and less expensive calsil product, Johns Manville maintained its monopoly power by threatening distributor customers who considered using the TPS product, and by making disparaging statements about it. In 2019, TPS sued Johns Manville under the Sherman Antitrust Act. 


“We are grateful that the jury recognized Johns Manville’s wrongful conduct,” said attorney Eric Olson, founding partner of Olson Grimsley Kawanabe Hinchcliff & Murray, who, along with attorneys Sean Grimsley and Isabel Broer, and paralegal Katie Wright, represented TPS at trial. “This country was built on fair competition, and consumers should not have to pay higher prices because large companies violate the antitrust laws. No matter how powerful, no company is above the law. We are thrilled that TPS is now able to freely compete in the marketplace.” 


In 2022, a lower court dismissed TPS’ claims, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit reversed the ruling in 2023. In its reversal, the 10th Circuit focused on internal Johns Manville documents that outlined a strategy of threats, rather than fair competition, using phrases such as “bring the sword” and telling its salesforce to warn customers that buying TPS’ competing product “will significantly alter your company’s relationship with Johns Manville.” 


“I want to thank Sean, Isabel, Eric and the team at Olson Grimsley who did a tremendous job,” said TPS President David Shong. “And my thanks to the jurors as well, who were willing to put our small company on a level playing field with the giant that is Johns Manville. I appreciate the jury for hearing our story and finding as it did.” 


The case is Chase Manufacturing, Inc. d/b/a Thermal Pipe Shields v. Johns Manville Corporation, No. 1:19-cv-00872 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. 


About Olson Grimsley 

Olson Grimsley Kawanabe Hinchcliff & Murray LLC is a national law firm headquartered in Denver, with the mission of holding the powerful to account. Prior to founding the firm, the team of talented litigators handled some of the country’s most significant civil rights, antitrust, mass tort, consumer, and environmental cases in courthouses from California to New York, and from rural Arkansas to the U. S. Supreme Court. They are now focusing their expertise to advocate for plaintiffs in the most consequential trials and appeals nationwide. This trial win comes on the heels of a March 2024 verdict of $60 million for an Olson Grimsley client against a premature infant formula manufacturer. More information at: olsongrimsley.com. 


Media Contact: 

April Arias 




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