Susman Godfrey LLP secured a verdict today in an antitrust price-fixing class action brought on behalf of direct purchasers of vitamin C against two Chinese vitamin C manufacturers, Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and North China Pharmaceutical Group Corp.
The jury returned a verdict of $54.1 million that was promptly tripled to $162.3 million, as required under U.S. antitrust law, by Judge Brian Cogan of the Eastern District of New York.
"This is the first case where Chinese companies have been sued and found liable under U.S. antitrust law," said Jim Southwick, a Susman Godfrey partner and co-lead counsel in this groundbreaking international price-fixing case. "We are thrilled that the jury soundly rejected the claims of the Chinese vitamin C manufacturers who claimed they were forced into collusion by their government."
The case alleged that from 2001 through 2006, the Chinese defendants successfully colluded to artificially and illegally raise the price and restrict the volume of vitamin C exported to the U.S. After more than eight years of discovery and motion practice centered around the defendants' allegations that the Chinese government compelled them to collude to raise prices and restrain production of vitamin C, the case went to trial before a jury in federal court in New York City in February 2013.
Today's verdict immediately follows a settlement earlier this week for $22.5 million with two other Chinese vitamin C manufacturers, Weisheng Pharmaceutical and China Pharmaceutical Group.
In addition to Southwick, Susman Godfrey attorneys Shawn Raymond and Katherine Kunz represented the plaintiffs.
About Susman Godfrey LLP
For more than 30 years, Susman Godfrey has focused its nationally-recognized practice on just one thing: high-stakes commercial litigation. It is one of the nation's leading litigation law firms with offices in Houston, Dallas, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York.