More than 7,800 truck operators have signed up or registered to the Road Haulage Association’s cartel claim to secure compensation for firms who paid artificially high prices for their vehicles.
The claim – which has the largest take up in Europe – is already estimated to be worth more than £1.5bn, and follows the 2016 European Commission ruling against a number of truck manufacturers who were found to have illegally fixed truck prices between 1997 and 2011.
The RHA has today (7 February 2019) published a legal notice ahead of a Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) hearing in June which will decide whether the Association will be appointed class representative to go ahead with its compensation claim.
The Collective Proceedings Order Application and Hearing Notice gives interested parties the opportunity to submit written comments on the RHA’s application, and/or to seek to make oral comments at the hearing. The notice also covers a competing application brought by UK Trucks Claim Limited.
RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett is confident that the RHA will get the green light to go ahead with their claim. He said that more than 6,400 operators have already joined and a further 1,400 are going through a sign-up process with more joining the process every day.
“The truck cartel operated for 14 years and it’s likely that its impact on truck prices continued even beyond that. We’re working tirelessly to ensure that truck operators who suffered as a result get the compensation they deserve.”
Steven Meyerhoff, a director at Backhouse Jones, who leads the RHA’s external legal team said: “We are one step closer to having the CAT approve the RHA’s proposed collective claim against the truck manufacturers.
“If the RHA is successful in being appointed class representative, this will be the first case of its kind under the new regime and will mark an important shift towards ensuring that those who suffer financial harm at the hands of competition law infringers get the redress they deserve.
Mr Meyerhoff urged any UK truck operators who haven’t yet signed up to the RHA’s claim to do so.
Notes to editors
The claim is open to any UK truck operator who purchased or leased a truck of six tonnes and over between January 1997 and the present day. It covers all makes of trucks, not just the major European ones. It also covers new and second-hand trucks.
This is the first time that the new collective proceedings regime which was introduced for group competition law claims in 2015 is being used for a mass claim on behalf of businesses who have lost out as a result of cartel activities.
While a competing application has been submitted to the CAT by UK Trucks Claim Limited (which was formed last year for purposes of bringing a legal action), the RHA considers that, as the only trade association dedicated to road haulage for the past 75 years, it is best placed to represent the industry.
Operators can sign up to the RHA’s collective claim at: www.truckcartellegalaction.com.
The CAT will hear the RHA’s application between 3-7 June 2019.
View CPO Application and Hearing Notice here