News

First collective mass tort claim, for 8.5 million Dutch and European parties

On 1 January 2020, the Settlement of Large-scale Losses or Damage (Class Actions) Act (in Dutch abbreviated as the WAMCA) entered into force. This Act provides for the possibility to not only request a declaratory decision, but also claim damages in a collective action. Two-and-a-half months later, the first collective damages action is there. Stichting Diesel Emissions Justice (SDEJ) has filed a collective mass tort claim for 8.5 million Dutch and European car owners in respect of the Volkswagen Dieselgate. This appears from the Central register for collective actions.

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Judgment Amsterdam District Court induces English High Court to make preliminary reference

The tables have turned. In May last year, we reported about an important judgment of the Amsterdam District Court in the cartel damages action of Stichting Cartel Compensation (SCC) in respect of the Air Cargo cartel. That judgment (ECLI:NL:RBAMS:2019:3394) concerned the question of whether the Amsterdam District Court, as national court, was authorised to privately enforce the European prohibition on cartels in respect of flights from before certain dates.

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Claimants do not have to prove the validity of assignments

Today, 10 March, the Amsterdam Appellate Court rendered judgment on the validity of the assignments in the cartel damages action of Stichting Cartel Compensation (SCC) in respect of the Air Cargo cartel (ECLI:NL:GHAMS:2020:713). These assignments concern the damages claims of purchasers of Air Cargo services that have incurred damages as a result of the cartel. Many Airlines colluded to increase prices inter alia by coordinating their action on surcharges for fuel.

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Bas Megens joins Brande & Verheij

We are proud to announce that Bas Megens joins Brande & Verheij LLP as partner as per 18 November 2019. At Brande & Verheij, Bas will continue his Government & Regulatory Litigation and Life Sciences & Healthcare Litigation practice. Bas has 10 years of experiences in assisting major parties in the Life Sciences and Healthcare sectors in both civil and administrative law litigation, including ample experience in summary proceedings. Bas will continue to use his in-depth knowledge of the Life Sciences and Healthcare regulatory framework, European law and the application of administrative law rules to engage in high profile litigation in this field.

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Commerz loses the last of the Port of Rotterdam guarantee claims; claim of EUR 70 million denied

On 9 July 2019, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal denied a claim of Commerz against the Port of Rotterdam (Havenbedrijf Rotterdam N.V.). Commerz claimed EUR 70 million (including EUR 46 million for interest) on the basis of a guarantee issued by the former director of the Port of Rotterdam in 2004.

After 15 years of litigation, four decisions of the Courts of Appeal, two decisions of the Supreme Court, and a decision of the European Court of Justice, the last remaining claim on the basis of the guarantees issued by the former director of the Port of Rotterdam Willem Scholten in 2003-2004, has been denied.

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Amsterdam District Court gives guidance on substantiation of cartel damages claims

Today, 15 May, the Amsterdam District Court rendered an important judgment in the cartel damages actions in respect of the Trucks cartel.

Several known European Truck producers colluded on Truck pricing and on passing on the costs of compliance with stricter emission rules. The European Commission has imposed record fines of several billion Euros in these cases. The Commission’s investigation revealed that the Truck producers had engaged in a Cartel relating to coordinating prices for medium and heavy trucks in the European Economic Area, the timing for the introduction of emission technologies, and the passing on to customers of the costs for the emission technologies. The infringement covered the entire EEA and lasted 14 years.

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Important judgments in Air Cargo

Today, 1 May, the Amsterdam District Court rendered two important judgments in the cartel damages action in respect of the Air Cargo cartel.

Several known Airlines participated in this worldwide cartel and made illegal price fixing agreements in respect of Air Cargo. For years, the Airlines coordinated their action on surcharges for fuel and security without discounts. The aim of these contacts was to ensure that these surcharges were introduced by all the Airlines involved and that increases (or decreases) of the surcharge levels were applied in full without exception. A large number of buyers of Air Cargo services has incurred damages as the result of the activities of the cartel.

The lawyers of Brande & Verheij LLP, who represent the claimants in this case, believe the judgments are an important step forward that should expedite the resolution of the damages claims.

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Start of new firm

On 1 May the new litigation firm Brande & Verheij LLP has started. Within this firm, a team of five lawyers will fully focus on litigation and resolving business disputes.

The lawyers at Brande & Verheij are (among others) involved in the largest collective actions currently pending in the Netherlands: the cartel damages claims against global airlines and European truck manufacturers. The firm also respresents other international clients in high-profile commercial litigation.

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