Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ongoing Case Highlight: In re Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litig., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57340 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 12, 2017)


Plaintiffs alleged that Japanese and South Korean manufacturers of lithium ion batteries engaged in a price-fixing scheme. Plaintiffs sought to certify a class of persons who purchased lithium ion batteries from 2000 to 2011, indirectly by purchasing certain electronics, or those who purchased directly either as end users or retailers. 

The court denied certification without prejudice. As to indirect purchasers, the court found that the plaintiffs did not sufficiently establish class-wide damages. As to direct purchasers, the court found the class lacked typicality, as it covers anywhere between individuals and major retailers.


One of the ways in which U.S. law stands apart from the rest of the world is private enforcement of public laws--such as the case at hand. Even though I am a U.S. attorney, this type of case still boggles my mind. What makes this a good idea? Why is the court involved in this at all? The damages assessment in a case like this is incredibly complicated, and the court is discussing which expert opinion counts and which does not. This makes no sense at all.

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