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Schenker seeks $2.5bn damages from airlines

[ December 1, 2014   //   ]

Deutsche Bahn’s logistics subsidiary, Schenker, is to seek $2.5 billion from air cargo carriers found guilty by the US Department of Justice, the European Commission and other international authorities for operating a global price-fixing cartel. The damages comprise $370 million in the U.S. and $2.19 billion in Germany including interest but the US portion could increase to around $1.1 billion if the court awards treble damages in the case.

Schenker is the latest international freight forwarder to pursue civil litigation against airlines for fixing fuel and security surcharges from 1999 until 2006. It filed a complaint against Air France, KLM, Martinair, Cargolux, Qantas, SAS and All Nippon Airways in the Eastern District of New York in August. All defendants named in the Schenker complaint pleaded guilty in Department of Justice proceedings.

A German lawsuit, filed in December 2013 in Cologne, alleges defendants Deutsche Lufthansa, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Swiss Airlines, Cargolux, SAS, Air Canada, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines and Qantas were involved in the same conspiracy.

A number of air cargo carriers in the United States entered into settlement agreements both with class action plaintiffs and individual claimants in order to avoid protracted civil lawsuits. Schenker agreed to settlements with some carriers but opted out of the settlement agreements by the named defendants in connection with the class action lawsuit.

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