RHA to persue collective claim for compensation against European truck price-fixing cartel


The Road Haulage Association will apply to become the representative body persuing a UK collective claim against truck manufacturers found guilty of price fixing.

The European Commission issued a record €2.9bn fine to five major truck manufacturers after it was found that they co-ordinated truck pricing and colluded on passing on the costs of compliance with emissions rules in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

The association is to put forward its application to the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The collective claim registration of interest is open to all hauliers, irrespective of whether they are an RHA member.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “We consider ourselves duty-bound to acknowledge and act upon our members’ wishes. We have taken legal counsel and have thoroughly explored the approach that we need to take. If the CAT accepts our application, detailed disclosure of evidence will be released and at that stage the case will be developed more fully.

“This will be a long drawn out process and it is important to stress that hauliers will not get an immediate pay-out; indeed there is no guarantee of any pay-out at all. However it would appear that based on the high level of evidence already received that the prospects for compensation look encouraging.

“The process of obtaining representative status could take up to a year and the whole process up to a determination or settlement could well exceed a further two years.”

As part of the process of applying to become the nominated representative it will be important to obtain a better understanding of the number of hauliers interested in signing up to the collective action. Therefore, the RHA is asking hauliers who consider that they may have a claim for compensation to visit and register their interest.

The body says there will be no cost and it will be risk-free for hauliers that choose to opt into the claim. It will use third-party funding to progress the claim, and says it will not profit from the case.

Burnett added: “We understand that there is an enormous amount of detail behind this and working through it  will take a long time. Indeed it could well be in excess of two years before operators see any form of potential compensation, depending on how the case progresses through the CAT for either settlement discussions or even a trial.

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