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US: Class certification denied in lithium battery case

 |  April 13, 2017

A federal judge Wednesday denied certification to two proposed classes of plaintiffs in a sprawling antitrust case accusing electronics firms of fixing the prices of lithium ion batteries for more than a decade.

US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers denied without prejudice motions by both indirect and direct purchasers of the batteries, finding that both failed to show that the entire class had been affected by the alleged price-fixing.

Though both proposed classes may file new motions for certification, Gonzalez Rogers particularly encouraged the indirect purchasers to refile. She said a renewed motion could succeed if it dropped allegations of nationwide claims under California’s Cartwright Act.

The indirect purchasers sought to bring nationwide claims under the California law because they said the defendants, which include Panasonic, Samsung and Toshiba, maintain headquarters in the state and chose California law as the framework for their battery contracts.

However, “The court finds that a nationwide class under the Cartwright Act would not be appropriate,” Gonzalez Rogers wrote. “Any renewed motion for class certification should take this determination into account.”

Full Content: Courthouse News

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