On June 24, 2019, the Honorable Brian M. Cogan, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, granted final approval of an $80 million settlement between Plaintiffs, a proposed class of dental practices and dental laboratories, and Defendants, Henry Schein, Inc., Patterson Companies, Inc., and Benco Dental Supply Company – three of the biggest dental supply companies in the United States. Plaintiffs had charged Defendants with colluding to fix prices on crowns, numbing agents, X-ray accessories and other products in this putative antitrust class action.
At the June 24 fairness hearing, Judge Cogan stated, “this no coupon settlement. This is a substantial recovery that has the deterrent effect that class actions are supposed to have, and I think it was done because we had really good Plaintiffs’ Lawyers in the case running it.”
In February 2016, Cohen Milstein was appointed interim co-lead counsel.
Filed in March 2016, the consolidated putative class action alleges that Defendants Henry Schein, Inc., Patterson Companies, Inc., and Benco Dental Supply Company – the three largest dental supply and dental equipment distributors in the United States – fixed price margins on dental supplies, jointly pressured manufacturers to squeeze out competitors, and agreed not to “poach” each other’s employees, in violation of federal antitrust law. As a result of the alleged conspiracy, dental practices and dental laboratories may have paid artificially inflated prices for many kinds of dental supplies and dental equipment, from consumables like gauze and cement to big-ticket equipment like chairs and x-rays.
On September 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York denied the Defendants’ motion to dismiss the case.
The case name is: In re Dental Supplies Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 1:16-CV-00696-BMC-GRB, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York.