Marine Products Antitrust Litigation

Settled: November 29, 2012

Labaton Sucharow served as lead counsel in two class actions filed on behalf of persons and entities (including state governmental entities) that purchased foam-filled fenders and buoys and marine pilings directly from defendants. The actions were filed on March 17, 2011 before the Honorable George H. Wu in the Central District of California. On November 29, 2012, the case fully settled and final approval was granted by the court.

In Ace Marine Rigging & Supply, Inc. v.Virginia Harbor Services, et al., the Complaint alleged that defendants and their co-conspirators, the leading manufacturers and distributors of foam-filled fenders and buoys, conspired to fix prices, rig bids and allocate customers and markets of these products from at least June 1, 2000 through such time as the anticompetitive effects of the defendants' conduct ceased. In July 2011, Labaton Sucharow secured four partial settlements, totaling $3.19 million. In November 2012, the court approved the settlements with the remaining defendants, which brought the total settlement amount to $3.4 million.

In Board of Trustees of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans v. Virginia Harbor Services, et al., the Complaint alleges that defendants and their co-conspirators, the leading manufacturers of marine pilings, conspired to fix prices, rig bids and allocate customers and markets of these products from at least January 1, 2000 through such time as the anticompetitive effects of the defendants' conduct ceased. In July 2011, Labaton Sucharow secured two partial settlements with four defendants on behalf of plaintiff and the class: (1) Virginia Harbor Services, Inc., Robert B. Taylor and William Alan Potts ($1.85 million); and (2) Gerald Thermos (for extensive cooperation). In November 2012, the court approved the settlements with the remaining defendants, which brought the total settlement amount to more than $2 million.

Pursuant to a related criminal investigation launched by the US Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, certain defendants have pleaded guilty to engaging in a conspiracy to unlawfully rig bids and allocate markets for the sale of foam-filled fenders and buoys and/or marine pilings in the United States. These guilty pleas have resulted in substantial criminal fines and/or jail sentences. Additionally, pursuant to the False Claims Act, the Department of Justice intervened and settled claims in a related qui tam lawsuit brought by a whistleblower. The State of Florida also settled similar claims pursuant to its investigation into the marine products industry.

Case Materials

Related Information:

July 27, 2011
Labaton Sucharow LLP Secures $5.04 Million in Settlements in the Marine Products Litigations
Read More