New Settlements Push Recoveries Past $750 Million in Air Cargo Antitrust Litigation

Hollis Salzman

Plaintiffs have secured an additional $65 million partial settlement in the case titled In re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1775, raising the total settlements in the case to over  three-quarters of a billion dollars, subject to final court approval.  The federal antitrust litigation was filed nearly a decade ago over an alleged global conspiracy to inflate prices of airfreight shipping services.  The plaintiffs’ case against the remaining defendants continues.  To date, more than $485 million in settlements have already received final approval by the Court.

Plaintiffs obtained the most recent settlements after an extensive class certification hearing in the federal Eastern District of New York at the end of 2013.  The parties are awaiting the court’s decision on class certification.  In separate criminal probes, 23 air cargo carriers have pleaded guilty to participation in the conspiracy and agreed to criminal fines in excess of $1.8 billion.

“We’re pleased to have achieved these additional settlements, which will compensate the victims of this conspiracy and provide a measure of justice for plaintiffs and the proposed class” said co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs, Hollis Salzman, Partner and Co-chair of the Antitrust and Trade Regulation Group at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.

“The settlements announced today bring us closer to a final resolution for the thousands of businesses harmed for years by artificially inflated prices for air shipping services,” Salzman added.

The litigation is pending before the Hon. John Gleeson and Magistrate Judge Viktor V. Pohorelsky.