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UPDATE: Blockbuster Suit Amended

30 Apr, 2001 By: Joan Villa

Plaintiffs in the antitrust lawsuit filed last week in California against Blockbuster Inc. and the major studios amended their claim last week to focus on price-fixing charges.

In addition, retailers JohnMerchant and David Stevenson have been replaced as lead plaintiffs in the case, which seeks class-action certification for more than 200 retailers who allegedly suffered financial damages from Blockbuster's deals with the studios.

According to attorney Kevin Leyendecker, of the Houston firm Moriarty & Leyendecker, Merchant and Stevenson are still proceeding on individual claims in a federal case filed about 18 months ago in San Antonio after the judge there recently denied class-actionstatus. The newly bolstered price-fixing charge in California is “intended to clarify what is an appropriate claim” based on comments in the federal judge's ruling, Leyendecker says.

The amended complaint also “avoids having the same action in the state court as the federal,” he adds.

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