Class actions are a powerful tool for corporations seeking to recover for antitrust violations. There are instances, however, when a company is better-served to exclude itself or “opt-out” of a class action case and bring its own case. These individual actions provide corporations with the opportunity to exercise control over the litigation, avoid the delay and expense of class certification, and in some instances, obtain a larger recovery.
The question of whether to remain in a class action or pursue an individual case is often complicated; each path is replete with potential challenges and benefits. Robins Kaplan has decades of experience counseling companies in making this difficult decision, and, when appropriate, has successfully represented companies pursuing opt-out actions. Notable opt-out recoveries include:
- In re TFT-LCD (Flat-Panel) Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1827 (N.D. Cal.): In addition to successfully obtaining a $7.5 million jury verdict against one defendant, Robins Kaplan recovered settlements exceeding $400 million on behalf of its client, Best Buy. The litigation, one of the largest antitrust actions in U.S. history, arose from allegations that a cartel of major international manufacturers fixed the prices of LCD displays used in computer monitors, laptops, televisions, cell phones, and other products.
- In re Cathode Ray Tube Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1917 (N.D. Cal.): Robins Kaplan secured settlements in excess of $300 million and a jury verdict of $22.5 million against one defendant on behalf of Best Buy arising from allegations of a price-fixing conspiracy between the leading makers of cathode ray tubes, which were once integral components of televisions and computer monitors.
- In re Vitamins Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1285 (D.D.C.): Robins Kaplan recovered in excess of $250 million on behalf of several large agribusiness clients alleging a decade-long price-fixing cartel among the leading international vitamin manufacturers.
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota et al. v. Mylan, (D.D.C.): Robins Kaplan secured a $76.8 million jury verdict on behalf of three health insurers that allegedly overpaid for prescription drugs because of a branded manufacturer’s exclusion of generic competition through the restriction of the generics’ supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients.
- In re Methionine Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1311 (N.D. Cal.): Robins Kaplan obtained $35 million in settlements on behalf of its clients arising from allegations of a decade-long price-fixing cartel between the leading international manufacturers of methionine.
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