[In the case of the Standard Oil Company vs. William C. Scofield et al., in the Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, 1880.]

That the so-called agreement is and at all times has been utterly void and of no effect, as being by its terms in restraint of trade and against public policy.

These defendants further say that they deny that through any action of theirs said plaintiff has sustained or will sustain any damage whatever, but these defendants say that their business of distilling oil has been carried on at a large profit, and that the same is now attended with large profits, and the price of refined oil is now so high, and there is such a large margin between the price of crude oil and refined, that the manufacture and sale of refined oil is attended with large profit; that it is impossible to supply the demand of the public for oil if the business and refineries of both plaintiff and defendant are carried on and run to their full capacity, and if the business of defendants were stopped as prayed for by plaintiff it would result in a still higher price for refined oil and the establishment of more perfect monopoly in the manufacture and sale of the same by plaintiff.

These defendants further say that said plaintiff has constantly and persistently violated the terms of said so-called written agreement in that it has intentionally failed to give and has withheld from the defendants the benefits of the advantages therein agreed to be given, and that it has not given to defendants the benefits of its contracts relating to freight on crude and refined oil, but these defendants have been constantly required to pay more and larger freights than said plaintiff, and that said plaintiff has not allowed to defendants the same rebate that it has received with different carriers; and, further, that said plaintiff has recently constructed a pipe-line to the Oil Regions of Pennsylvania through which its oil has been pumped to Cleveland at an expense of about twelve cents a barrel, but has charged defendants for pumping their oil through the same pipe twenty cents per barrel.

The defendants further say that at the time when said writing was signed said plaintiff was endeavouring by contracts with divers persons to establish a monopoly in the manufacture of refined oil in the state of Ohio and in the United States, and that, for the purpose of monopolising the trade in refined oil and enhancing the price thereof, and maintaining an unnaturally high price, said plaintiff entered into said so-called agreement under the form of a joint arrangement or adventure, and for no other purpose, and contributed to the capital of said so-called adventure the sum of $10,000, whereas those defendants contributed thereto the sum of $73,000 and their time and attention, and their refinery had the capacity for refining 180,000 barrels of crude oil per year, as plaintiff well knew, and said plaintiff thereby, and by said other contracts made with the same design, succeeded in creating a substantial monopoly and averting competition and maintaining an unnaturally high price for refined oil, and that said so-called agreement is therefore in restraint of trade and against public policy, and void.

These defendants further say that defendants have from time to time paid to plaintiff their full share of the profits of said so-called adventure, and at no time has plaintiff been required to pay any sum whatever to defendants, but has realised large profits from said business, and on the fourth day of March, 1880, with full knowledge of how much oil in excess of 85,000 barrels per year had been manufactured by defendants, demanded of said defendants that they should pay to plaintiff the entire profits upon said excess, and claimed that its monopoly was so perfect that it would have sold said excess if defendants had not, and defendants did pay to plaintiff the one-half of the profits on said excess.

Previous Table of Contents Next