July 12, 2015: On Friday, the Honorable John Gleeson certified a class of direct purchaser plaintiffs against defendant airlines in an antitrust lawsuit concerning illegal price-fixing of air cargo shipping services. Judge Gleeson also appointed Hausfeld and three other law firms as class counsel.
Many of the original airline defendants have already settled with the plaintiffs, totaling more than US$1 billion across twenty-seven settlements. Remaining in the case are defendants Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, and U.S. air cargo carrier Polar Air Cargo and its parent, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings.
Friday's order is the culmination of years of briefing and hearings to determine whether the class should be certified. In October 2014, Magistrate Judge Viktor V. Pohorelsky issued a 112-page decision, recommending that the Court grant the plaintiffs' motion for class certification. "Class certification will allow hundreds of thousands of claims to be resolved adequately, efficiently, and fairly," Judge Pohorelsky wrote.
Elsewhere, Judge Pohorelsky observed that "plaintiffs have submitted a trove of direct and circumstantial evidence that strongly suggests the existence of an agreement among the defendants to fix prices," amounting to "compelling common evidence of a global conspiracy.
"This decision is an important step forward for the class members seeking compensation for the damage caused by this multi-year cartel," said Hausfeld Partner Brent Landau, who delivered both the opening statement and the closing argument at the multi-day class certification hearing. "We look forward to bringing the remaining cartelists to trial," he added.