On 29 July 2019, the European Court of Justice issued a landmark decision in the ongoing mass litigation across the European Economic Area in the truck cartel claims.
The claims arise following a decision of the European Commission which found that there was a price fixing cartel in existence from 1997 to 2011 between seven truck manufacturers. Those manufacturers were MAN, Volvo, Renault, Daimler, Iveco, DAF and Scania. The net effect of the price fixing cartel was that the manufacturers between themselves limited open market competition to fix the price of trucks. That price fixing arrangement then in turn limited competition between competing manufacturers which is outlawed in both Irish and European Union Competition Law.
O’Dwyer solicitors represents a large number of truck owners throughout the Republic of Ireland who bought trucks during this period at a time when the prices paid were unlawfully fixed.
The decision of the European Court of Justice in the case of Tibor-Trans arises out of a referral from Hungary to the European Court of Justice seeking clarification on whether domestic courts, such as the Irish High Court, have the ability to hear cases in which truck owners are maintaining claims for compensation.
The European Court of Justice has now decided that the proper place to litigate such claims for compensation is in the domestic courts.
The decision of the European Court of Justice now means that all truck owners who purchased trucks from 1997 to 2011 from the manufacturers concerned can now maintain their action for compensation within the jurisdiction of the Republic of Ireland with the High Court being the final adjudicator.
This has been a welcome development for those truck owners who are maintaining claims before the Irish courts and who will now be able to progress those claims without further impediment.
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