In the case of the Spanish cartel, Volvo and DAF Trucks could be sued

In the case of the Spanish cartel, Volvo and DAF Trucks could be sued

In a decision that could lead to additional lawsuits against the cartel members, Europe’s top court declared on Wednesday that a Spanish claimant over a truckmakers’ cartel can file a claim for damages against Swedish truckmaker Volvo and Paccar’s DAF Trucks.

In the case of the Spanish cartel, Volvo and DAF Trucks could be sued

AB Volvo and DAF Trucks were subsequently sued for damages in 2018 in a Spanish court which ordered the companies to pay the claimant who had bought three trucks from them. Judges set the compensation at 15% of the purchase price of the vehicles. The truckmakers had argued the claim was time-barred because of the five-year limitation period under Spanish law for transposing the EU damages directive into that country’s law, and appealed against the judgment.

In 2016, the European Commission fined Daimler and Italy’s Iveco a combined total of 2.9 billion euros ($3 billion) for setting prices and coordinating the rollout of new emission technology. The cartel allegedly existed from 1997 until 2011. DAF Trucks and Volvo both received fines totaling 752.68 million euros.

The Spanish court sought guidance from the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The CJEU said the claim was within the time limit. The judgment could trigger claimants in Germany in a similar situation, said Ann-Christin Richter, deputy managing partner at law firm Hausfeld which has brought damages claims against various cartels.

“The ruling is of huge importance for trucks cartel damages proceedings in Germany since it postpones overall limitation by one year,” she said. “While the prevailing view so far was that limitation under German law has already expired, the ruling means that claims can still be brought in Germany for a few months,” Richter said.

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