A group of dentists has tentatively reached an $80 million settlement in a proposed class action accusing the country's biggest dental supply companies of colluding to fix prices on crowns, numbing agents, X-ray accessories and other products, the parties announced on Thursday.
The deal comes roughly 30 months after dentists launched a wave of suits 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.
The distributors attacked the case by accusing the dentists of inaccurately portraying isolated actions as a nationwide conspiracy. But two years ago, a New York federal judge kept the case alive, finding reason to believe the distributors colluded to strong-arm lower cost rivals and boycott trade groups that worked with a newer distributor called SourceOne Dental Inc.
The dentist are represented by Berger Montague, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Hausfeld LLP, Susman Godfrey LLP, and The Radice Law Firm PC, among others.
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