courts, deadlines, documentation and affected
On September 27, the Mercantile Court No. 5 of Madridissued the first conviction against him car cartel in which it was forced to compensate one of those affected with 1,147 euros, 5% of what he paid for his car, despite the fact that he claimed 15% of the total. To date, it is the first beneficiary of a judicial resolution and a precedent for up to ten million affected people, who could recover between 2,000 and 9,000 euros that they overpaid to acquire their vehicles between 2006 and 2013 from the cartel, of which practically all of them were part. the marks.
From now on, a barrage of new demands is more than foreseeable, despite the fact that many expectations of compensation were higher -of at least 10%-. One of the keys to obtaining the most favorable sentence has to do with the elaboration of a good expert report, which clearly shows the effects on the price of the consensual action of the brands. As highlighted Frank Rodriguez TrouwborstCEO of Technical Consultantsa company based in Madrid and specialized in expert reports on cartels -it has produced 6,000 on the truck cartel alone-, these documents must “incorporate three comparative methods recommended by the CE Damage Quantification Guide in addition to having been prepared by ten professionals between engineers and economists”. Without these requirements, there is little to do to obtain a good compensation.
In addition to the aforementioned ruling, in recent months there have been judgments and judicial decisions that have been clarifying a complex matter, which has hundreds of variables and edges and that despite everything has aroused the interest of numerous associations, groups created specifically for the matter, law firms of all kinds and platforms of those affected. Given so much offer, it is not easy to go to the representative suitable legal and, above all, that offers the maximum guarantee of success.
The plaintiff-consumer can choose the court in which he claims, regardless of the registered office of the manufacturer
Courts and requirements to claim for the car cartel
Among the judicial novelties that affect the buyers of vehicles of the brands that violated the anti-competition regulations by creating a cartel for the exchange of “secret, future and strategic” information, according to the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC), are territorial jurisdiction, new statute of limitationsthe improper solidarity of the offenders or the courts that are competent and those who do not in this matter related to competition.
Last June, a Court of Valencia issued an order reaffirming the territorial jurisdiction of the Commercial Courts of Valencia to process one of the first lawsuits filed in relation to the so-called car cartel. The resolution rejected the defendant’s position to refer the matter to Madrid, where the automobile company has its registered office. The magistrate considers that he is competent to process the lawsuit in Valencia due to the domicile of one of the plaintiffs, given his status as a consumer.
Meanwhile, last month, the Technical Office of the supreme court confirmed through an order some relevant issues regarding the car cartel, including some of territorial jurisdiction. In an order dated October 13, the High Court ruled on the decision of a Zaragoza court to refrain from a matter related to the cartel because the defendant was based in Barcelona. The Chamber determines that the Saragossa court it unduly rejected its competence and should have given the opportunity to choose one of the two competent judicial parties. In cases in which the plaintiff has the status of consumer, the was electiveclarify the Supreme.
The judge rejects the compensation if an expert report is provided that does not prove the minimum required evidence… and there is also a sentence of costs
What is Improper Solidarity between Offenders in a cartel
It also states that the claims must be processed based on the amount claimed, in accordance with the exception contained in article 249.1.4º LEC –see BOE-. And it clarifies, given the amounts claimed, that the verbal trial process corresponds, “which does not imply a reduction in the rights of the parties and conforms to the principles of effectiveness and equivalence imposed by the Directive 2014/104Along with this, a recent sentence, dated October 25 and issued by the Mercantile Court number 5 of Madrid, opens another interesting avenue of claim. The ruling leaves the door open to Improper Solidarity between Offenders, for what can be claimed for the damage of any vehicle of the offending brands sold between the month of February 2006 and the month of July 2013, without specifically addressing the specific period reflected in the resolution of each brand.
Another relevant matter and that stands out from a judgment of last October 21 of the Commercial Court number 3 of Valencia It is the risk of not having a good expert report, which has a cost, but which is obviously essential to carry out a favorable sentence. The judge dismissed the plaintiff’s claim for compensation for providing an expert report that does not prove the minimum required evidence and, in addition, ordered her to pay costs. The judge clarified, to justify his decision, that “an action for damages after a cartel infringement gives rise to a difficult process, both from a legal and factual perspective” and that his decision was not conditioned by the usual doubts of fact and right and “yes for the speculative nature of interposition Of demand”.
When the term to claim the ‘car cartel’ expires
Meanwhile, last June, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) published a judgment regarding the truck cartel –see resolution– in which it confirmed that those affected have up to five years to claim the damages caused by the cartelists. The decision, despite having to do with a specific cartel, can be extrapolated to cars or milk, as highlighted Redi Lawyers, a firm specializing in competition issues, which already manages more than 59,000 claims for the car cartel issue. Practically all Spanish courts have considered that claims for damages against cartels prescribe within a period of 1 year, unless the cartel is after May 2017. Now the CJEU has confirmed that, even if the cartel occurred before May 2017 , the term to claim damages is not one year, but five.
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