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Litigants reach $7M settlement for alleged vehicle-transport price-fixing

Four transport companies allegedly worked together to keep prices high
A vehicle is for sale at a dealership | Chung Chow

Class-action lawsuits in B.C., Ontario and Quebec have resulted in a proposed settlement that needs court approval.

The four companies that have agreed to pay the settlement include Mitsui O.S.K., Ltd., Mitsui O.S.K. Shipping (U.S.A.), Inc., Nissan Motor Carrier Co. Ltd. and World Logistics Service (USA) Inc.

Those defendants allegedly conspired with other defendants in the class-action lawsuit to fix, raise, maintain or stabilize prices of vehicle-carrier services in Canada between Feb. 1, 1997 and Dec. 31, 2012.

These allegations have not been proven in court, and the four companies have not admitted to any wrongdoing.

To be a member of one of the class actions, people or entities must have purchased or leased vehicles in Canada that had been transported by vehicle-carrier services during the class period.

Those vehicle-carrier services are also known as roll-on, roll-off services because they involve vehicles rolling onto a vessel from a port ramp, parking on the vessel for transport and then rolling off the vessel at the destination.

Provincial courts need to approve the settlement agreement, and the motion to approve the settlement in the Supreme Court of British Columbia is set to be heard on Dec. 12.

"The approval of all three courts is required for the settlement to become effective," said CFM Lawyers partner David Jones. "Settlement class members across the country will be treated equally."

The class-action lawsuit in B.C. was certified in April 2020.

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