Stuttgart – Daimler is faced with additional claims for millions in compensation for its role in the truck cartel scheme. The road haulage association ELVIS wants to enforce claims for about EUR 160 million, including interest, at the District Court of Stuttgart, as the German press agency dpa learned from the lawyer Prof. Dr. Moritz Lorenz from the Berlin law firm ARNECKE SIBETH DABELSTEIN, which represents Elvis. The claim was originally submitted to the courts at the end of 2019, but the specific amount has only recently been stated. The court confirmed that the statement of claim has been received. Daimler believes that the claim is unfounded.
In 2016 the EU Commission had imposed anti-trust fines amounting to almost three billion Euros on Daimler, Iveco, DAF and Volvo/Renault because they had exchanged price lists for a number of years. But the Commission did not rule on whether the purchasers of the trucks had suffered any damage or loss. As a result, numerous court cases have been filed with German courts over the last few years.
For the European international road haulage association ELVIS it is already the second lawsuit against Daimler. In 2017 ELVIS filed a claim for a total of about EUR 176 million in compensation. The case has not yet been heard. This claim related to the period between 1997 and 2011 when the cartel existed. The present case (reference No. 30 O 435/19) relates to the time after the cartel was exposed, and according to the court it also applies to trucks purchased in Switzerland – a total of more than 10,000 vehicles. The court states that the folders containing the evidence fill more than 50 removal boxes.
The claimant in both ELVIS court cases is Themis Schaden GmbH, a subsidiary of the association which has been established specifically for the purpose and to which the claimants have assigned their accounts receivable. A similar legal construct in another case was deemed inadmissible last year by the District Court of Munich – and as a result the court rejected what was by far the largest claim against the truck cartel, with a total volume of EUR 867 million. The claimants have appealed against this ruling.
It is not yet clear whether the District Court of Stuttgart shares the legal position advocated by the court in Munich, says the ELVIS lawyer Lorenz. As a precaution, however, he says that the assignment agreements with Themis have now been amended to take into account the points which the court objected to.
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