Automotive bearings maker Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG has reached a $21 million agreement to settle allegations by purchasers that it joined a conspiracy to fix prices for the bearings, according to court documents filed in a Michigan federal court Wednesday.
Bearings companies DALC Gear & Bearing Supply Corp., McGuire Bearing Co. and Sherman Bearings Inc. asked U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani to approve the settlement with Schaeffler, its U.S. subsidiary Schaeffler Group USA Inc. and German affiliate FAG Kugelfischer GmbH, saying it was in the best interest of bearings purchasers. Schaeffler will also assist the purchasers with their litigation against the remaining defendants in the case, according to the agreement.
“The settlement amount reflects the consideration of information resulting from extensive discovery and settlement class counsel’s investigation, and it constitutes a meaningful recovery,” the buyers said.
The suit is part of sprawling multidistrict litigation consolidated in the Michigan federal court against many automotive parts manufacturers over allegations they conspired to fix prices on bearings, wire harnesses, fuel injectors, spark plugs and other components.
The buyers noted that the agreement is the first settlement in the litigation and could serve as an “ice-breaker” that could pave the way to future agreements.
The buyers are represented by M. John Dominguez of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, David H. Fink, Darryl Bressack and Nathan J. Fink of Fink & Associates Law, Steven A. Kanner, William H. London and Michael E. Moskovitz of Freed Kanner London & Millen LLC, Joseph C. Kohn, William E. Hoese and Douglas A. Abrahams of Kohn Swift & Graf PC, Gregory P. Hansel, Randall B. Weill and Michael S. Smith of Preti Flaherty Beliveau & Pachios LLP, Eugene A. Spector, William G. Caldes, Jonathan M. Jagher and Jeffrey L. Spector of Spector Roseman Kodroff & Willis PC, and Solomon B. Cera, Thomas C. Bright and Pamela A. Markert of Cera LLP.
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