Proposed settlements with world’s dominant railway equipment suppliers will provide $48.95 million for employees who alleged their compensation was adversely impacted by an agreement between Knorr and Wabtec not to poach each other’s employees
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP and Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C. announce a total of $48.95 million in settlements to resolve antitrust claims of a class of approximately 8,396 employees of Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation and certain subsidiaries (“Wabtec”) and Knorr-Bremse AG and certain subsidiaries (“Knorr”). Knorr has agreed to pay $12 million, and Wabtec has agreed to pay $36.95 million.
The class action was filed in April 2018 in the Western District of Pennsylvania and alleged that Knorr, Wabtec and Faiveley Transport North America, Inc. (later acquired by Wabtec) improperly agreed not to compete for, hire, recruit, or poach each other’s employees. The challenged agreements restrained competition, restricted employee mobility, and suppressed employee wages.
As noted in plaintiffs’ submission to the Court, the settlements are an excellent result for the proposed class. The total settlements of $48.95 million represent an average gross recovery of approximately $5,830 per class member (before taking into consideration costs and attorneys’ fees). This result is among the best recoveries ever achieved for employees asserting antitrust claims.
“We are very proud of this result,” said Lieff Cabraser partner Dean M. Harvey, Interim Co-Lead Class Counsel. “The settlements provide among the largest class member recoveries of any comparable case, and do so in record time.”
“These settlements were the product of extensive, hard-fought negotiations, provide significant payments to class members, and avoid the considerable risks, delays and expense of further litigation,” said Roberta Liebenberg, who is also serving as Interim Co-Lead Counsel and is a senior partner at Fine, Kaplan and Black.
The proposed settlements include a notice plan including the establishment of a case-specific website with relevant court documents and contact information, and a case-specific toll-free phone number that settlement class members may call to pose questions. Today’s motion requests that the Court grant preliminary approval of the settlements, direct Notice to the settlement class, determine a schedule for final approval, and conditionally certify the settlement class.
The case is In Re: Railway Industry Employee No-Poach Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2850 (W.D. Pa.).
Dean M. Harvey
Tel: (415) 956-1000