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A second law firm and a financier have joined a class action against a group of truck manufacturers, offering support to claimants.
Hausfeld has teamed with Burford Capital to offer legal and financial help to hauliers affected by the truck cartel.
Last year, the European Commission imposed a fine of €2.9bn on five lorry makers – Daimler, Volvo, Renault, Iveco and DAF – for coordinating the selling price of trucks over a 14-year period to 2011. MAN, as the whistleblower, was exempt from the fines, while Scania is still under investigation.
As a result of the collusion, companies across the European Economic Area that bought or leased medium or heavy-duty trucks from any of the members of the cartel have a right to compensation if they suffered losses as a result of higher prices they had to pay. They may also claim interest.
The UK Road Haulage Association (RHA) believes compensation of around £6,000 per truck is likely.
The RHA has urged hauliers to come forward and join its own legal action against the manufacturers. It is working with law firm Backhouse Jones Solicitors and insurance broker Therium Capital Management, which is underwriting the fees.
The RHA notes on its website: “Companies that have purchased or leased new or secondhand trucks direct from manufacturers (including Scania) or dealers from 1997 onwards are eligible to join the claim. During the period the cartel operated we believe around 650,000 new trucks were sold.”
Based on those figures, the truck manufacturers could be liable for claims amounting to some £3.9bn.
Hausfield adds that there are some 650,000 hauliers operating in Europe, many of which are small businesses.
You can read the EU’s explanation of the case here.