Robbie Hargett Nov. 30, 2015, 10:16am


DETROIT (Legal Newsline) – A group is suing a Japanese shock absorber manufacturer over shock absorber price-fixing claims.

Ifeoma Adams, Halley Ascher, Gregory Asken, et al., filed a class action lawsuit Nov. 20 in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan against Kayaba Industry Co., doing business as KYB Corp., subsidiary KYB Americas Corp., and unnamed co-conspirators, alleging unreasonable restraint of trade or commerce in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, unjust enrichment, and unlawful conduct, contract, trust, agreement, understanding, combination, and/or concert in violation of state antitrust and unfair competition and consumer protection laws.

KYB is the world's largest manufacturer of shock absorbers for automobiles. The suit states KYB has engaged in a long-running conspiracy to unlawfully fix, artificially raise, maintain, and/or stabilize prices, as well as allocate market shares in the U.S. for shock absorbers beginning in 1995.

On Sept. 16, the suit states, the U.S. Department of Justice, which has been conducting a broad criminal investigation into illegal price-fixing in the automotive parts industry, announced KYB agreed to plead guilty to criminal information and to pay a $62 million fine for participating in a combination and conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition in the automotive parts industry by agreeing to fix the prices of shock absorbers sold in and beyond the U.S.

As a result of the alleged anti-competitive and unlawful conduct, the plaintiffs and the class members paid artificially inflated prices for shock absorbers.

The plaintiffs and members of the class seek to enjoin the defendants from continuing the actions described above, and to recover damages including restitution and/or disgorgement of profits gained unlawfully, interests and costs of the suit.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys E. Powell Miller and Devon P. Allard of the Miller Law Firm in Rochester, Michigan; by Hollis Salzman, Bernard Persky, and William V. Reiss of Robins Kaplan in New York City; by Marc M. Seltzer and Steven G. Sklaver of Susman Godfrey in Los Angeles; by Terrell W. Oxford and Omar Ochoa of Susman Godfrey in Dallas; by E. Lindsay Calkins of Susman Godfrey in Seattle; and by Steven N. Williams, Adam J. Zapala, and Elizabeth Tran of Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy in Burlingame, California.

U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan case number 2:15-cv-14080-RHC-RSW

Organizations in this Story

Kayaba Industry Co
World Trade Center Bldg. 2-4-1 Hamamatsu-cho 105-6111 Japan
,

KYB Americas Corp
850 N. Graham Rd. Greenwood, IN 46143 U.S.A.
,

Miller Law Firm
950 West University Drive
Rochester, MI 48307

Robins Kaplan LLP
153 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022

Susman Godfrey LLP
1901 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP
840 Malcolm Road
Burlingame, CA 94010

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