Edited by Albert A. Foer and Jonathan W. Cuneo
Chapter 8: Aggregation of Claims
J. Douglas Richards1 Introduction Competition law violations ordinarily cause widespread injuries to many participants in a market. In cases brought by overcharged purchasers, injuries suffered by any one purchaser, standing alone, are usually too small to make independent pursuit of an individual damage claim cost-effective. It is therefore indispensible, if private civil damage claims are to vindicate the objectives of competition law effectively, that claims asserted in multiple courts on behalf of multiple plaintiffs must be combined into one or more cases, with some form of orderly, consolidated leadership being established to prosecute the consolidated civil claims. In the absence of established procedures for such consolidation, the multiplicity of individual claims and duplicative costs of various kinds would overwhelm any possibility of feasible private enforcement. In the United States, there are three basic procedural mechanisms for the consolidation of competition law claims, pertaining, respectively, to: consolidation of cases into one court; establishment of common leadership of the consolidated cases; and common resolution of the consolidated claims in a class action. In Parts A through C below, we address each of those three basic components of the process for aggregation of competition law claims in the United States. In Part D, we then briefly discuss other, less common procedures for common resolution of claims, which also can be available, at least in theory, in competition law cases in the United States. A. Consolidation of cases – the Judicial Panel and CAFA There are a vast number of courts in which claimants can...
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