Hawaii v. Standard Oil Co. of Cal.
Citation: 2 ELR 20133
No. No. 70-49, 405 U.S. 251/(U.S., 03/01/1972)
The State of Hawaii may not bring an action under Section 4 of the Clayton Act for damages to her general economy and prosperity under a theory of parens patriae. A State has a right of action under the antitrust laws to protect her proprietary interests, as where she is harmed by purchasing goods from a monopoly. But, although a State may sue as parens patriae to prevent or compensate for harm caused to her citizens as a whole, the protection of her general economy is no more than the aggregation of the protection of the economic rights of all her citizens. Those rights can be better protected by individual suits or by class actions. The State has no "business or property," within the meaning of the Clayton Act, which is damaged by the alleged action of the defendants in restraining and monopolizing trade in petroleum products.
Counsel for Plaintiff
Maxwell M. Melcher
612 South Flower Street - Suite 1206
Los Angeles, California 90017
Counsel for Defendants
Francis R. Kirkham
Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro
Standard Oil Building
225 Bush Street
San Francisco, California 94104
MR. JUSTICE POWELL and MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.