CHICAGO--()--Freed Kanner London & Millen LLC, announced today that it has been appointed as Interim Co-Lead Counsel for the Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs in a massive price-fixing lawsuit against manufacturers of wire harnesses and related products, by United States Federal District Court Judge Marianne Battani. The case, captioned “In re Automotive Wire Harness Systems Antitrust Litigation,” is pending in the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit.
“In re Automotive Wire Harness Systems Antitrust Litigation”
“We are pleased that the Court selected our firm to prosecute this case on behalf of the victims of a global cartel and we are committed to vindicating their rights under the United States Antitrust laws,” said Steven A. Kanner, Freed Kanner London & Millen partner. Kanner added that the price-fixing case potentially impacts thousands of businesses in the United States.
Defendants are alleged to have conspired over a 10-year period to illegally increase the price of “Wire Harness Systems Products,” which include wire harnesses, electrical wiring, lead wire assemblies, cable bond, wiring connectors, wiring terminals, electronic control units, fuse boxes, relay boxes, junction blocks, and power distributors. Notably, in a separate governmental investigation, two of the named defendants, Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. and Yazaki Corporation, as well as some of their executives, pleaded guilty for their involvement in the conspiracy and agreed to pay nearly $700 million in criminal fines and serve prison sentences.
The U.S. Department of Justice has described the investigation into alleged price fixing by auto-parts suppliers as the most sweeping in U.S. history. John Terzaken, director of criminal enforcement in the antitrust division of the Department of Justice, announced that “The investigation has now spread to include six automotive component segments. The parts involved were sold both to automakers and in the aftermarket, and the probe continues to expand.”
The criminal investigation has been far reaching with more prosecutions to follow. A Department of Justice spokesperson recently told the Automotive News that “In terms of the breadth of the investigation and the scope of the commerce involved, there's certainly nothing on the record that parallels this.”
Freed Kanner London & Millen and its co-counsel represent both small and large businesses that purchased Wire Harness Systems Products directly from the named defendants between January 1, 2000 and January 31, 2010. The lawsuit seeks both monetary damages and injunctive relief.
Freed Kanner London & Millen is also investigating related price-fixing claims against the manufacturers of Instrument Panel Clusters, Fuel Senders and Heat Control Panels. Recently, Denso Corporation pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $78 million fine for price fixing of Heat Control Panels.
Please contact Steven A. Kanner (Skanner@fklmlaw.com) or William H. London (Wlondon@fklmlaw.com) at 224.632.4500 if you have relevant information to assist these investigations or if you directly purchased any of these products and would like to discuss your potential claims on a confidential basis. A full list of defendants in the case can be found at www.fklmlaw.com. Additional information regarding the investigations can also be found at www.fklmlaw.com.
About Freed Kanner London & Millen LLC
Freed Kanner London & Millen LLC is the Midwest's preeminent antitrust, class action law firm. The firm is nationally and internationally recognized for its ability to lead the prosecution of major class action antitrust cases, which have resulted in substantial judgments and settlements for clients ranging from multinational corporations and small entrepreneurs to individuals. The firm's practice involves all aspects of complex antitrust, consumer fraud, securities, unlawful business practices and insurance fraud cases. The firm was founded in 2007 and its partners have been leaders in the class action field for more than 30 years.