London’s leading class action law firm Edwin Coe LLP has today filed a group action seeking damages for businesses being direct and indirect purchasers of trucks and who were victims of fraudulent price fixing by major truck manufacturers over a 14-year period.
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.
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.
The claim stems from a European Commission ruling in 2016 against five truck manufacturers – MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler/Mercedes, Iveco and DAF – which found they operated a price fixing cartel stretching back to 1997. There has since been a similar finding against a sixth manufacturer, Scania. Together these manufacturers hold over 80% of the market.
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 LLP, solicitor to the Claimants, comments: “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 has over 25 years’ experience of bringing group action claims in the UK both in competition and other commercial areas. It was one of the first firms to work with funders supporting claims. Its distinguished track 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.