Cases

Go Back to Previous Page »

Air Cargo Litigation -- In re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation

Court: United States District Court for Eastern District of New York
Case No.:
MDL No. 1775

Wexler Wallace is one of a multitude of law firms bringing this massive antitrust case against over twenty aircraft carriers that provide shipping services around the world. The class period for this price-fixing scheme runs from January 1, 2002 to the present. In essence, the action arises from the Defendants’ massive global conspiracy to fix or stabilize the prices of air freight shipping services.  The complaints allege that the Defendants and their co-conspirators acted in concert pursuant to a single, overarching conspiracy to artificially inflate the prices of shipping air cargo worldwide. There have been hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements received.

Over 3 years ago, Defendants Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Lufthansa Cargo AG, and Swiss International Air Lines Ltd. (collectively, “Lufthansa”) settled for $85 million.  The settlement covers all claims related to shipments to, from, or within the United States based on any law, anywhere in the world.  The Court appointed retired Judge Daniel H. Weinstein to serve as Settlement Master;  he ultimately recommended that U.S. indirect purchasers get 18 percent of the fund, and Direct purchasers (both U.S. and foreign) share the remaining 82 percent, with shipments to the United States valued at 1.625 times shipments from the United States. Foreign indirect purchasers receive 15 percent of the foreign direct purchasers’ share. More information about these settlements can be found here.

On March 14, 2011, the Court entered its Orders Approving the Settlement Agreement and Final Judgment regarding four more settlements: (1) under the Air France-KLM Settlement, Société Air France, Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V.and Martinair Holland N.V., have paid $87 million; (2) under the Japan Airlines Settlement, Japan Airlines International Co., Ltd. has paid $12 million; (3) under the American Airlines Settlement, American Airlines, Inc. and AMR Corporation have paid $5 million; and  (4) under the SAS Settlement, Scandinavian Airlines System and SAS Cargo Group A/S have paid $13.93 million.  On August 4, 2011, the Court entered its Final Judgment regarding a settlement with Qantas Airlines Limited, which has agreed to pay $26.5 million.  On August 5, 2011, the Court entered additional Final Judgments regarding additional settlements with Cargolux Airlines International, Inc.  ($25.1 million), All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. ($10.4 million), and Thai Airways Settlement ($3.5 million).  (collectively “Settlement II”)  More information about these settlements can be found here.

On March 14, 2012, the Court entered an Order for notice of a third settlement to be sent out to Class members after granting preliminary approval of settlements with the following defendants: (1) Lan Airlines, S.A., Lan Cargo, S.A., and Aerolinhas Brasileiras, S.A. ($66 million) (2) British Airways Plc ($89.512 million); (3) Malaysia Airlines ($3.2 million); (4) South African Airways Ltd. ($3.29 million); (5) Saudi Arabian Airlines, Ltd. ($14 million); (6) Emirates ($7.833 million); (7) El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. ($9.8 million); and (8) Air Canada and AC Cargo LP ($7.5 million) (collectively “Settlement III”) More information on this settlement can be found here.

On August 2, 2012, the Court granted final approval of the third group of settlements entered in this case with the following defendants: (1) Lan Airlines, S.A., Lan Cargo, S.A., and Aerolinhas Brasileiras, S.A. ($66 million) (2) British Airways Plc ($89.512 million); (3) Malaysia Airlines ($3.2 million); (4) South African Airways Ltd. ($3.29 million); (5) Saudi Arabian Airlines, Ltd. ($14 million); (6) Emirates ($7.833 million); (7) El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. ($9.8 million); and (8) Air Canada and AC Cargo LP ($7.5 million) (collectively “Settlement III”). In doing so, the Court found the Settlement to be fair, reasonable, and adequate, approved the Plan of Allocation, and awarded attorneys’ fees and expenses.  More information on this settlement can be found here.