Class Actions are underway across Canada which allege overcharges for Roll On Roll Off ocean freight shipping of vehicles, bought or leased during that time.
Class action lawsuits have been brought across Canada against 20 international Roll On/Roll Off shipping companies.
Those lawsuits allege that people or companies in Canada who paid for international Vehicle Carrier Services, including as part of the cost of the purchase or lease of a new car, may have overpaid for the cost of those services between February 1, 1997 and December 1, 2012 (the Class Period).
“Vehicle Carrier Services” means paid international ocean shipping services via roll on/roll off vessels (“RoRo”) of cargo, such as new and used cars and trucks, as well as agricultural, construction and mining equipment (collectively “Vehicles”). A “RoRo” is a type of ocean vessel that allows wheeled vehicles to be driven on and off the vessel and parked on its decks for ocean transport. It is alleged that among other things, customers were overcharged for Vehicle Carrier Services as the defendants participated in an unlawful conspiracy to fix, raise, maintain, increase, or control the price for Vehicle Carrier Services.
For more information, please visit the Vehicle Carriers Class Action Website
A second settlement has been reached in the Class Actions. The Settlement Agreement was reached with the defendants Mitsui O.S.K., Ltd., Mitsui O.S.K. Shipping (U.S.A.), Inc., Nissan Motor Carrier Co. Ltd., and World Logistics Service (USA) Inc. (collectively, “MOL”). MOL has agreed to pay CAD $7,000,000 for the benefit of Settlement Class Members and to provide co-operation to the Plaintiffs in pursuing their claims against the remaining non-settling defendants (the “MOL Settlement Agreement”).
The Settlement requires court approval and is not an admission of liability, wrongdoing or fault by MOL. The litigation will continue against the non-settling defendants.
The motions to approve the MOL Settlement Agreement are scheduled to be heard on:
Superior Court of Québec on November 20, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. at 1, rue Notre-Dame Est, Montréal, Québec;
Ontario Superior Court of Justice on November 24, 2023 at 2:30 p.m. by virtual hearing; and
Supreme Court of British Columbia on December 12, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. at 800 Smithe Street, Vancouver, British Columbia.
At these hearing, the Courts will determine whether the settlement is fair, reasonable and in the best interests of the Class Members. The lawyers for the Plaintiffs will also be requesting that legal fees of up to 25% of the settlement funds plus disbursements and applicable taxes be approved by the Courts and paid out of the settlement funds.
If the MOL Settlement Agreement is approved by the Courts, the settlement funds will be placed in an interest-bearing trust account along with the funds from previous settlements. Settlement funds will not be distributed to Class Members at this time. The continuing litigation may or may not result in further settlements or judgments. If there is a further recovery, it will be added to the present monies and an efficient distribution will be made at an appropriate time so as to avoid the cost of facilitating multiple distributions. The Courts will approve when and to whom the settlement funds will be distributed.
To view a copy of the long form notice, please click here.
A Settlement Agreement was reached with Compania Sud Americana De Vapores S.A. (“CSAV”) in July, 2016. Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement CSAV agreed to pay CAD $450,000 for the benefit of Settlement Class Members and to provide co-operation to the Plaintiffs in pursuing their claims against the non-settling defendants. CSAV did not have any direct commerce to Canada of Vehicle Carrier Services during the relevant time period. The CSAV settlement had received the necessary court approvals.
On April 1, 2019, the Superior Court, before the Judicial District of Montréal, authorized the class action on behalf of the following group:
Any person who purchased in Québec vehicle carrier services (RoRo) or who purchased or leased in Québec a new motor vehicle, new farm machinery or new construction equipment that was transported by RoRo vessels between February 1, 1997, and December 31, 2012
To view a copy of the Québec authorization order click here.
On April 14, 2020, the British Columbia class action was certified on behalf of the following class:
All British Columbia resident persons who, during the Class Period of February 1, 1997 to December 31, 2012, purchased Vehicle Carrier Services from a Defendant, or purchased or leased a new Vehicle in British Columbia that had been transported using Vehicle Carrier Services provided by a Defendant. The definition of Vehicle includes automobiles, trucks and high and heavy equipment such as buses, trucks, and agricultural and construction vehicles.
To view a copy of the BC certification order click here.
The Court ordered deadline to opt-out (exclude yourself) from the Class Action was May 10, 2017. If you are a class member and did not previously opt-out, you are legally bound by the results of the Class Actions, including the MOL Settlement Agreement if it is approved.
For more information please contact Betty Lee, Paralegal at (604) 689.7555.
Vehicle Carriers – New Settlement - View