Practice Area: Antitrust

Case Status: Settled

Settlement Amount: $80 million

Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Berger Montague served as co-lead counsel and obtained an $80 million settlement for a class of dental practices and dental laboratories in this antitrust lawsuit against Henry Schein, Inc., Patterson Companies, Inc., and Benco Dental Supply Company, the three largest distributors of dental supplies in the United States. Led by Berger Montague shareholders Eric L. Cramer and Patrick F. Madden, the case was litigated in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants, who collectively controlled close to 90 percent of the dental supplies and equipment distribution market, conspired to restrain trade and fix prices at anticompetitive levels, in violation of the Sherman Act. In furtherance of the conspiracy, the defendants colluded to boycott and pressure dental manufacturers, dental distributors, and state dental associations that did business with or considered doing business with the defendants’ lower-priced rivals. By foreclosing these rivals’ access to key market participants, the defendants were able to stifle competition and impair their rivals.

The defendants also adopted nearly identical pricing and compensation policies, adopted policies limiting their ability to hire each other’s sales representatives, and exchanged pricing information to preserve and monitor their cartelized prices. The lawsuit claimed that as a result of the defendant’s anticompetitive conduct, class members were overcharged on dental supplies and equipment.

The $80 million settlement received final approval from the court on June 24, 2019. During the June 24, 2019, Final Fairness Hearing on the settlement, U.S. District Court Judge Brian M. Cogan praised class counsel, stating:

This is a substantial recovery that has the deterrent effect that class actions are supposed to have, and I think it was done because we had really good Plaintiffs’ lawyers in this case who were running it.”

If you or your company has been harmed by anticompetitive conduct or any conduct that you believe violates the antitrust laws, please contact Berger Montague.

About Berger Montague

Berger Montague is a national law firm focusing on complex civil litigation in federal and state courts throughout the United States. For over half a century, Berger Montague has played lead roles in consequential, precedent-setting cases and has recovered over $50 billion for its clients and the classes they have represented. Berger Montague is headquartered in Philadelphia and has offices in Chicago, Minneapolis, San Diego, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington, D.C.

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