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Dechert Client Defeats Motion for Class Certification in Caustic Soda Antitrust Action

NEW YORK, NY—The United States District Court for the Western District of New York has just issued its opinion denying class certification to a putative class of direct purchaser plaintiffs (“DPPs”). The DPPs alleged that certain producers of caustic soda (collectively, “Defendants”) had violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by entering into a conspiracy to artificially reduce or eliminate competition and increase prices for caustic soda sold to purchasers in the United States — a claim that the Defendants have vigorously denied.

Dechert’s antitrust group has represented one of the Defendants since the inception of this litigation and played a prominent role in briefing the DPPs’ motion and at the evidentiary hearing and argument on class certification. Dechert partner Steve Bizar cross-examined DPP’s economic expert at the evidentiary hearing and Dechert partner Julia Chapman took the lead in arguing against class certification on behalf of all Defendants.

In denying DPPs’ motion for class certification, the court explained that DPPs failed to meet the class certification standard on multiple grounds. Specifically, the court found that DPPs could not meet the requirements of predominance, typicality or ascertainability because DPPs and their economic expert failed to account for evidence regarding the global supply and demand dynamics for caustic soda, failed to consider the individualized contracting and purchasing dynamics that characterize the caustic soda industry, to accurately characterize the transactions that should be included — versus those that should be excluded — in the proposed class, to account for varying negotiation tactics relied on by the proposed class and to objectively define the class itself.

The post Dechert Client Defeats Motion for Class Certification in Caustic Soda Antitrust Action appeared first on Attorney at Law Magazine.

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