Judgment in the Truck Cartel that triples the compensation previously granted
On April 5, the Commercial Court No. 1 of Bilbao published a certainly relevant sentence that resolved a lawsuit filed by our law firm strong>.
Our claim was based on anti-competitive practices that have been declared by the European Commission, and that have been reported to the media under the name Truck Cartel.
In 2018 we had filed the aforementioned legal claim in defense of a well-known national company. In that lawsuit, the extra cost was claimed that the main international truck manufacturers had improperly agreed to pass on to the consumer. Specifically, this claim had been made against the IVECO house.
From our office we have presented numerous judicial incidents to claim that excess in the surcharge, which was improperly applied by the manufacturers between 1997 and 2011. The sentence of the Commercial Court nº 1 of Bilbao that here we commented it was the first to fall in the Basque Country, as published by the newspaper El Correo.
[su_quote style=”default” cite=”El Correo Newspaper” url=”https://www.elcorreo.com/society/condemn-several-manufacturers-20190408154243-nt.html” class=””]
First ruling in the Basque Country condemning the cartel of truck manufacturers
The judge estimates an extra cost of 15% in the 17 vehicles that gives a total of 105,500 euros, a figure to which he adds the legal interest on the money
The sentence is tremendously relevant because it grants compensation at the rate of 15% of the purchase price of each truck; when the most recent precedents had granted only 5%.
To reach this conclusion, he resorts to statistical data, a criterion that we had defended in our lawsuit, using the following deductive process:
- Part of the criteria contained in the Practical Guide of the European Commission for the quantification of damages.
- This Practical Guide indicates that in most of the cartels studied by the European Commission there is a variable extra cost between 10 and 20%.
- The Court uses the average of these two figures to obtain 15%, an amount that it defines as “weighted”.
Our lawsuit requested 20.7%, as quantified by the expert report that we had provided to the judicial process. This approach has also been ratified by a report issued by the Registry of Experts in Forensic Economics (REFOR), a specialized body of the General Council of Economists that also reaches the same figure of 20.7%.< /p>
Although the judgment of the Commercial Court No. 1 of Bilbao does not uphold all of our claims, it is undoubtedly a positive boost for the legitimate expectations of thousands of companies and freelancers who trust in a response from our justice system in accordance with the law.
Additionally, the judgment grants legal interest from the date of purchase of each truck. This decision has great economic repercussions. In the case of trucks purchased years, even decades ago, not inconsiderable amounts of interest have accrued. Specifically, our interest claim involved more than a third of the financial interest in the lawsuit.
The criteria of this court is also revealing regarding other types of issues. It considers that the 5-year prescription period of art. 74 Competition Defense Law , and not one year as considered by the law in force on the date of the purchase of the trucks, because the action brought is after the entry into force of this amended article. Adds the sentence that the interpretation in terms of prescription must be restrictive on the loss of the right of the injured party to claim.
Vozpopuli echoes this issue and calls the sentence “very relevant”.
The defendant had argued that the extra cost suffered by the buyers of the trucks would have been offset by an increase in their subsequent sales at a similarly high price. This effect is known as “follow on”.
All of this, together with tax deductions allegedly obtained from a higher purchase price, implied in IVECO’s opinion that the claim concealed unjust enrichment.< /p>
However, the Court completely dismantles the arguments presented by the manufacturer, and does not grant any validity to the expert report that they had provided. Said report had the sole objective of refuting the compensation calculation criteria that we had used in our lawsuit.
For all these reasons we qualify the judge’s criteria as hopeful. We believe it is a great boost for the claims of truck buyers and for the statistical quantification criteria contained in the expert report that we are using in our claims.
As described by the newspaper Cinco Días: “for the first time, justice has recognized a 15% premium on the value of trucks, when until now 5% had been granted to plaintiffs in other similar rulings”
[su_quote style=”default” cite=”Cinco Dias Newspaper” url=”https://cincodias.elpais.com/cincodias/2019/04/08/companies/1554750223_249841.html” class=””]
Iveco and CNH Industrial, sentenced to pay Eulen 15% for extra costs in the sale of their trucks
The sentence obliges manufacturers to pay a surcharge of 15%, when up to now similar rulings have demanded 5% span>
From JLCASAJUANA we will continue defending our clients in the hope of achieving the best possible results and exceeding, as has happened on that occasion, the compensation that was being granted up to now. p>
We maintain intact our conviction that the compensation we claim for our clients against the manufacturers of the Truck Cartel are the most legally binding, and therefore We are therefore convinced that our criteria will end up being imposed in all Spanish and European courts.