Car carrier class action suit settled

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by Emily Atkins

A $7 million settlement has been reached in class action lawsuits in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia with four companies that offer Vehicle Carrier Services.

The four companies, Mitsui O.S.K., Ltd., Mitsui O.S.K. Shipping (U.S.A.), Inc., Nissan Motor Carrier Co. Ltd. and World Logistics Service (USA) Inc. (together the “Settling Defendants”) allegedly conspired with other defendants to the class action to fix, raise, maintain or stabilize prices of Vehicle Carrier Services in Canada between February 1, 1997 and DecemberĀ 31, 2012.

These allegations have not been proven in Court, and the four companies have not admitted to any wrongdoing.

To be a member of one of the class actions, persons or entities must have purchased or leased a vehicle in Canada that had been transported by Vehicle Carrier Services (RoRo) or must have purchased in Canada Vehicle Carrier Services (RoRo), during the class period.

RoRo Services means paid international vehicle carrier shipping services on vessels configured to allow wheeled vehicles to “roll on” from the port ramp to the vessel ramp and be parked on the vessel for shipping purposes and then “roll off” once the shipping destination is reached.

The Settling Defendants have agreed to pay $7 million in exchange for a full release of the claims against them. They have also agreed to provide information and cooperation that will help with the ongoing case against the non-settling defendants.

The settlement remains subject to Court ApprovalĀ  in Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario. If the settlement is approved, the settlement funds will not be distributed immediately as the class action is ongoing against other defendants. At a future date to be determined, the Courts will decide how the settlement funds will be distributed and how you will be able to make a claim.

The Quebec and BC actions have also been authorized and certified, on a contested basis as against the remaining defendants. Authorization and certification mean that the respective Courts have determined that the matters are appropriate to proceed to trial as class actions.