A settlement has been reached in the small-size ball bearings class actions
MONTREAL, Dec. 8, 2018 /CNW/ - Class action lawsuits have been commenced in Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario ("Class Actions"). Small-size ball bearings ("Bearings") are notably used in communication devices, household appliances, video cameras, personal computers, printers, air conditioning units, vacuum cleaners, fishing reels and power tools. The plaintiffs allege that the manufacturers of Bearings and their related entities conspired to fix prices in the Bearings market, causing buyers to overpay for Bearings and the products equipped with Bearings bought in Canada.
A settlement has been reached with the defendants MinebeaMitsumi Inc. (formerly Minebea Co. Ltd.), NMB Korea Co., Ltd., NMB (USA) Inc., and NMB Technologies Corporation (the "Settling Defendants").
The settlement class members are defined as any persons in Canada who purchased Bearings and/or products equipped with Bearings, between June 1, 2003 and October 31, 2011 (the "Settlement Class Members").
As a condition of the settlement, the Ontario and British Columbia plaintiffs and the Settling Defendants have agreed to have this action dismissed as against New Hampshire Ball Bearings Inc., concurrently with the settlement approval motion.
The Class Actions are continuing against NSK Ltd. and NSK Canada Inc. (the "Non-Settling Defendants").
The Settling Defendants agreed to settle the Class Actions by paying CDN $1,500,000 for the benefit of Settlement Class Members and agreed to provide co-operation to the plaintiffs in the Class Actions against the Non-Settling Defendants (the "Settlement"). In exchange, the Settling Defendants will be provided with a full release of the claims against them relating to the alleged price-fixing of Bearings. The Settlement is a resolution of contested claims, and the Settling Defendants do not admit any liability, wrongdoing or fault.
Settlement Approval Hearings
The settlement approval hearings will take place in the Quebec Superior Court, in Montreal, on January 22, 2019 at 10h00, the British Columbia Supreme Court, in Vancouver, on March 7, 2019 at 10h00 and the Ontario Superior Court, in Goderich, on February 25, 2019 at 3h30. The Courts will then decide if the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interest of the Settlement Class Members.
At the settlement approval hearings, the lawyers for the class will ask the Courts to approve payment of legal fees to them valued at up to 25% of the funds from the Settlement, plus disbursements and applicable taxes. Any approved legal fees will be paid out of the settlement funds.
Settlement Class Members who do not oppose the proposed Settlement do not need to appear at the settlement approval hearing or take any other action at this time.
If you want to make an objection to the Settlement or if you want to intervene and speak to the Courts at the hearings, you must send your written submission to class counsel representing the members of your province received no later than January 7, 2019.
Distribution of Settlement Funds
At this stage of the proceedings, the settlement funds (the "Settlement Funds") (minus Court approved fees and expenses) will be held in an interest-bearing trust account. At a later date, the Courts will decide how the Settlement Funds will be distributed and how you can apply to receive money from the Settlement.
If you do not want to be a member of the Class Actions and participate in the Settlement, you can opt-out.
- If you opt-out, you will not be eligible to participate in the Settlement, or receive money from the Class Actions, but you may be able to start or continue your own case regarding the claims at issue against the defendants. Applicable limitation periods concerning your claim will resume running against you.
- If you do nothing, you will be eligible to participate in the Settlement, and may receive money from the Class Actions, but you will not be able to start or continue your own case regarding the claims at issue against the defendants.
If you wish to opt-out of the Class Actions, you must submit a notice to opt-out received no later than February 6, 2019. For Quebec class members and Settlement Class members domiciled in Quebec, you must send your exclusion notice to the clerk of the Superior Court. For others, please contact one of the law firms listed below.
This is your only chance to exclude yourself from the Class Actions in Quebec, Ontario or British Columbia. The certification orders and the associated opt-out process outside of Quebec are only valid if the Settlement is approved. If the Settlement is not approved or if it otherwise fails to take effect, the certification orders will not stand and any opt-out notice submitted by any person outside of Quebec will be set aside, and the litigation will continue against the Settling Defendants. If certification orders outside of Quebec are granted by the court in the future, an opt-out process will take place at that time.
- Belleau Lapointe, s.e.n.c.r.l. (Attention: Maxime Nasr) represents Quebec class members and Settlement Class Members domiciled in Quebec. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman LLP (Attention: David G.A. Jones) represents Settlement Class Members in British Columbia. (email@example.com)
- Harrison Pensa LLP (Attention: Jonathan Foreman) represents Settlement Class Members in Ontario, and in provinces other than British Columbia or Quebec. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For more detailed information, please visit:
http://www.recourscollectif.info/en/cases/bearings/ (Belleau Lapointe LLP)
https://www.cfmlawyers.ca/ (Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman LLP)
https://harrisonpensa.com/price-fixing-small-sized-ball-bearings/ (Harrison Pensa LLP)
For media inquiries:
Attention: Maxime Nasr
Belleau Lapointe, s.e.n.c.r.l.
306, Place d'Youville, Office B-10
Montreal, QC H2Y 2B6
SOURCE Belleau Lapointe, s.e.n.c.r.l.