Settlements have been reached with eight airlines in a class action lawsuit involving the price of airline tickets. The Settling Defendants are: Air France; Cathay Pacific; Japan Airlines; Malaysian Airlines; Qantas; Singapore Airlines; Thai Airways; and Vietnam Airlines. The lawsuit continues against five Non-Settling Defendant airlines: Air New Zealand; All Nippon Airways (“ANA”); China Airlines (Taiwan); EVA Airways; and Philippines Airlines.
The lawsuit claims that the Defendants agreed to fix prices on tickets for transpacific air travel. As a result, ticket purchasers may have paid more than was necessary. The Settling Defendants deny the allegations, and deny that they have any liability. The Defendant airlines also deny liability, although ANA has pled guilty to fixing the prices of certain discounted tickets.
The Settling Defendants have agreed to pay $39,502,000 (the “Settlement Fund”). Money will not be distributed yet, and will be distributed pursuant to a Plan of Allocation approved by the Court. Class Counsel will pursue the lawsuit against the Non-Settling Defendants. The Court will hold a hearing in this case on May 22, 2015, to consider whether to approve the Settlements. Class Counsel have not requested attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of costs at this time but will do so in connection with the hearing. For the current Settlements, Class Counsel will request up to one-third of the Settlement Fund plus up to $7,500 for each of the class representatives. Class Counsel has asked the Court to set aside an additional $3 million of the Settlement Fund to cover future expenses.
Source : Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP and Hausfeld, LLP