June 24, 2019

A Brooklyn federal judge on Monday approved an $80 million cash settlement in a case in which a class of 200,000 dentists accused the country's biggest dental supply companies of colluding to fix prices on crowns, anesthetic and more.

U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan heard a single objector's arguments to attorney fees before blessing the $80 million deal he praised as being a "fairly large recovery" for the individual dentists in a class action that was an "extraordinarily complex antitrust case" involving vast amounts of data, including nearly one billion financial transactions.

. . .

The final approval on the deal comes years after dentists first launched a series of litigation accusing three dominant distributors — Henry Schein Inc., Patterson Cos. Inc. and Benco Dental Supply Co. Inc. — of artificially inflating prices on everything from the chairs that patients sit in to the cements that keep artificial teeth in place.

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