By Greg Johnson. On November 19, 2015, U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani of the Eastern District of Michigan issued an Order Granting Final Approval of an initial, partial settlement of $59 million to auto dealers in the multi-district (MDL) antitrust litigation against certain Japanese parts manufacturers. The MDL alleges that the parts manufacturers rigged bids and fixed the prices of auto parts to the detriment of auto dealers and retail consumers over the period of January 1, 1998 to September 12, 2015.
My firm, G Johnson Law LLP, represents White Bear Lake Superstore GMC-Buick, one of the lead plaintiff auto dealers in the case. On a national level, the auto dealer class is represented in the MDL by Attorney Shawn Raiter of Larson King LLP in St. Paul, MN as well as the law firms of Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca LLP and Barrett Law Group PA.
Auto dealers in over 30 jurisdictions (full list below) can make a claim for money benefits from the settlement fund if they purchased certain component parts or vehicles containing the parts and submit a claim. The Notice of Settlement and Claim Form can be accessed on the settlement website at http://www.autodealersettlement.com. The amount a dealership may be entitled to receive from the settlement depends on the number, make and model of vehicles purchased during the period of January 1, 1998 to September 12, 2015.
The process to submit a claim is simple as all information needed to fill out the Claim Form can be derived from the dealership’s year-end financial statements for each OEM.
The Claim Form must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2016 or the dealership will not be eligible.
Auto dealers in the District of Columbia and the following states are eligible: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The MDL is In re: Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, Case Number 2:12-md-02311 (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan). Please note that the MDL is ongoing as some defendants have not settled. The Claim Form submitted by March 31, 2016 can be used to claim money benefits from future distributions as well.
This blog is for informational purposes only. By reading it, no attorney-client relationship is formed. The law is constantly changing and if you want legal advice, please consult an attorney. Gregory J. Johnson ©All rights reserved. 2016.