In November 2015, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, against NSK Ltd., NSK Americas, Inc., and NSK Corporation on behalf of a class of direct purchasers of “Small Bearings.”1
The Plaintiff, McGuire Bearing Company reached a proposed settlement with Minebea in March 2017 and, in connection, soon after filed a class action complaint alleging that Minebea conspired with the NSK Defendants to suppress and eliminate competition for Small Bearings by agreeing to raise, fix, maintain, or stabilize prices, and to allocate markets and customers, for Small Bearings sold in the United States, in violation of federal antitrust laws. The suit further alleges that, as a result of the conspiracy, it and other direct purchasers of Small Bearings were injured by paying more for those products than they would have paid in the absence of the alleged illegal conduct.
As part of the proposed settlement, Minebea has agreed to pay a total of $9,750,000 and to provide cooperation to assist in the prosecution of the claims against the remaining Defendants. A motion for preliminary approval of the proposed settlement is pending.
Manuel John Dominguez, David A. Young, and Matthew W. Ruan of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC serve as additional counsel for the Plaintiffs in this action. Fink + Associates Law serves as Interim Liaison Counsel. Kohn Swift & Graf, P.C., Freed Kanner London & Millen LLC, Spector Roseman Kodroff & Willis, P.C., and Preti Flaherty Beliveau & Pachios LLP serve as Interim Co-Lead Counsel.
1 “Small Bearings” refers to bearings whose outer diameter is 30 millimeters or less. Small Bearings are used in numerous applications, including but not limited to the following automotive applications: air conditioning compressors, alternators, anti-lock braking systems, cooling fans, fuel pumps, motors for electric control systems, starters, steering systems, transmissions, water pumps, wheels, and windshield wiper motors.