Scottish Cartel Ruling To Open UK Door?

HAULAGE operators in Scotland now have until next summer to lodge a claim for damages in relation to a cartel among truck manufacturers, following a court decision in Edinburgh, writes Chris Tindall.
The Court of Session rejected an argument by Europe’s largest truck manufacturers that it was too late for companies to pursue compensation, after the European Commission found they had fixed the prices of trucks over a 14 year period between 1997 and 2011.
The Scottish case was brought by a group of local authorities, which suspected they might have a claim for damages as they had purchased trucks during the time of the cartel’s operation.
Volvo Group, Renault, MAN, Daimler, Iveco and DAF Trucks attempted to block the claim by arguing that a five year limitation in Scotland had now passed, but this was rejected by Lord Tyre.
Julia Dodds, director of litigation at Fieldfisher solicitors, said the decision opens the door for other lorry operators to lodge a claim, in England as well as in Scotland. She added: ‘What the Court of Session found is these kind of cases only start to run from when the decision is made: July 2016. So, those claims can continue,’ she said, and added: ‘It’s not binding in England, but it is persuasive if it’s brought in court.’
Phil James, a partner at Weightmans LLP, which is backing a class action on behalf of the group UK Trucks Claim, said the Scottish ruling was only in relation to individual claims, not collective ones. He said: ‘Limitation concerning individual claims brought in the English High Court is governed by the six year period laid down in the Limitation Act.
‘The general view is that the Scottish decision is likely to be appealed. Our collective claim has been brought within the bespoke limitation period for collective claims so there are no limitation issues for our opt-out CPO (collective proceedings order) if our application is granted by the CAT (competition appeal tribunal), whose decision is expected in the first half of next year.’

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