SRKW APPOINTED INTERIM CO-LEAD COUNSEL IN LANDMARK AUTOMOTIVE PARTS ANTITRUST ACTION

In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, MDL 12-2311 (E.D. Mich.). SRKW has been appointed Interim Co-Lead Counsel for Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs for all product cases filed (currently 16 different cases with more to follow) in In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation (MDL. No. 2311). These massive price-fixing class actions are being brought on behalf of direct purchasers who were overcharged for various kinds of automotive parts, including wire harness products, heater control panels, instrument panel clusters, fuel senders, occupant safety restraint system products, bearings, air conditioning systems, starters, windshield wiper systems, windshield washer systems, spark plugs, oxygen sensors, fuel injection systems, alternators, ignition coils, and power window motors. All cases are pending before Judge Marianne Battani in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit. SRKW and its Interim Co-Lead Counsel on behalf of the Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs have defeated motions to dismiss filed to date in all product cases. Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs have reached settlements with four defendants totaling approximately $53 million. The U.S. Department of Justice, the Japan Fair Trade Commission and the European Commission continue to investigate the Automotive Parts industry, and criminal fines levied total $2.5 billion to date, with thirty-five companies and twenty-nine executives having pleaded guilty or having agreed to plead guilty in the United States. A Department of Justice spokesperson recently told the Automotive News that “[i]n terms of the breadth of the anticompetitive conduct was business as usual, not the work of a rogue employee.”