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Competition Appeal Tribunal strikes out additional claim brought by Part 20 Defendant against Claimants in trucks cartel proceedings

08/05/19

The Wolseley action is a follow-on claim for cartel damages brought by 153 claimants against two of the addressees (Iveco and DAF) of the Commission Decision establishing a cartel between truck manufacturers.  The claims have been brought on the basis that those defendants are jointly and severally liable for the entire loss caused by the cartel to the Claimants.  Iveco and DAF served Part 20 claims for contribution on Daimler, another addressee of the Commission Decision.  In its Defences to those Part 20 Claims, Daimler purported to bring an additional Claim against the Wolseley Claimants seeking a declaration to the effect that Daimler is not liable for the losses claimed by the Wolseley Claimants. 

In a judgment handed down today, the CAT granted Wolseley’s application to strike out Daimler’s additional claim.  The CAT accepted Wolseley’s arguments that the declaration sought would serve no legitimate useful purpose.  The Tribunal held that this would be true both if the main claims proceeded to trial and, having analysed the relevant provisions of the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1978, if the proceedings were settled.  The CAT also accepted the Wolseley Claimants’ argument that Daimler’s additional claim did not constitute a ‘counterclaim’ within the meaning of CPR Part 20 and had therefore been improperly issued because, having failed to serve a claim form, Daimler should have obtained the permission of the Court to bring the claim. 

 

The judgment is here.

Marie Demetriou QC, instructed by Hausfeld & Co LLP, represented the Wolseley Claimants.