In re Aftermarket Automotive Lighting Products Antitrust Litigation
An aggregate settlement of more than $50 million
Our successful work in this case highlights two points: we are proactive in identifying antitrust violations before any government investigations occur; and our willingness to challenge unlawful antitrust practices across borders. The international scope of this litigation demonstrates our ability to take on complex cases that involve discovery and review in foreign languages and taking depositions abroad.
In March 2009, Labaton Sucharow was appointed co-lead counsel on behalf of a proposed class of plaintiffs who purchased aftermarket automotive lighting products directly from defendants, three Taiwanese manufacturers, one Hong Kong company, and their U.S. subsidiary distributors. Plaintiffs allege that defendants unlawfully conspired to fix the prices of and allocate the market for aftermarket automotive lights for almost eight years, between July 29, 2001 and February 10, 2009. On July 27, 2011, the court certified the class of direct purchasers.
After the civil litigation began, the United States Department of Justice empaneled a criminal grand jury to investigate the industry, leading to numerous guilty pleas.
Labaton Sucharow and co-counsel secured a settlement of $25 million with defendants Depo Auto Parts Industrial Co. Ltd. and Maxzone Vehicle Lighting Corp. A $450,000 settlement was reached with defendants Sabry Lee (USA) Inc. and Sabry Lee Ltd. The court granted final approval of both of these settlements. Additionally, the court has granted preliminary approval of a $3 million settlement with defendants Eagle Eyes and its former U.S. distributor, E-Lite Automotive Inc.
On the eve of trial, we achieved another settlement of $25 million with the remaining two defendants, Genera and TYC Brothers. On May 14, 2014, the court granted final approval of the final settlement. In the end, the aggregate settlement of the case will be over $50 million.