A London-based solicitors firm is looking for companies that leased or bought HGVs between 1997 and 2011 from major truck manufacturers following a major price-fixing truck cartel scandal revealed two years ago.
Edwin Coe is calling on any business which purchased, leased or outsourced trucks weighing six tonnes or more between 1997 and 2012 to join the lawsuit, which will sit in the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
Edwin Coe said well-known high street names, a supermarket retailer and a range of major regional brewers, are already amongst the claimants joining the litigation. They are seeking damages (plus interest) for medium or heavy goods vehicles purchased during the so-called infringement period of 14 years.
Edwin Coe is now encouraging additional businesses in the retail, construction, farming, waste-management and outsourcing sectors to sign up, as it is likely they also overpaid for their vehicles.
On 19 July 2016, the European Commission found that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco, DAF and Scania had breached EU laws prohibiting cartels and other restrictive business practices.
The truck manufacturers were found by the Commission to have colluded by manipulating truck prices for 14 years and by passing on to their customers the costs of compliance with stricter EU emission rules.
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For these breaches, the Commission imposed a record fine of €2.93bn.
MAN avoided a fine by informing the Commission of the truck cartel.
All the truck manufacturers acknowledged their involvement in the truck cartel except for Scania, which contested the ruling for its fine of €880m.
It is estimated that some 10 million trucks were sold across the EU during the 1997-2011 period and that each one may have been overpriced by up to £10,000 as a result of the cartel.
Claims may also be brought by those who purchased trucks from other manufacturers because their prices are also likely to have been affected by the cartel pricing.
Zahira Hussain of Edwin Coe, solicitor to the Claimants, said: “This cartel was an EU-wide scandal for many years and affected thousands of UK businesses from PLCs to smaller enterprises. Companies that believe they were a victim and want to claim their rightful compensation need to act fast. There is still a window to join our claim process on a cost and risk-free basis.”
Last month Edwin Coe secured litigation funding from Affiniti Finance meaning it can act for clients under a no-win, no-fee’ arrangement.
The Road Haulage Association has a separate legal action underway for its members. However Edwin Coe is able to act for direct purchasers of trucks as well as indirect purchasers (meaning any companies who used trucking services provided by hauliers).
Edwin Coe said its record for class action lawsuits includes currently representing flower growers who were subject to the air cargo cartel, investors in film finance and purchasers of properties in Italy and Cyprus. In the past it has represented Lockerbie victims, Railtrack shareholders, Northern Rock investors, time-share owners and investors in a Madoff fund.