Lawn Mower Engine Horsepower Rating Conspiracy

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The content of this page has not been approved by the Court nor does it constitute legal advice. It is for the purpose of providing general information only. 

Update

Settlements Reached with All Remaining Defendants

This case has now settled with all defendants for a total of $7,535,000. The final settlements, lawyers’ fee request, and the method of distributing settlement funds to class members must be approved by the courts. Settlement Approval Hearings are scheduled for October 25th, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. in Ontario and on October 31st, 2018 at 2:15 p.m. in Quebec.

For more information, please read the Long-Form Notice found here

The Distribution Protocol has been revised as of October 11, 2018. See below for more details or click here to view the updated Distribution Protocol.

Summary of the Proceedings

This claim is brought on behalf of all Canadians who purchased a lawn mower containing a gas combustible engine of 30 horsepower or less which was designed, manufactured and/or sold by a defendant company between January 1, 1994 and December 31, 2012 (“Class Members”).

It is alleged that the defendants participated in an unlawful conspiracy to raise, fix, maintain or stabilize the price of lawn mowers in Canada, lessen unduly competition in the production, manufacture, sale and/or supply of lawn mowers and lawn mower engines, and/or to conduct business contrary to the Competition Act and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act.

Harrison Pensa LLP is working in concert with Consumer Law Group Inc. in Quebec in the prosecution of this matter on a national basis.

Status of the Proceedings

SETTLEMENTS

Settlements have been reached with Kawasaki and Tecumseh in which they have agreed to pay $785,000 and $1,550,000 respectively for the benefit of Class Members (the “Kawasaki Settlement” and the “Tecumseh Settlement”). The Kawasaki Settlement agreement can be viewed here. The Tecumseh Settlement agreement can be viewed here. The Kawasaki and Tecumseh Settlements remain subject to court approval.

Prior settlements have been reached in the litigation with all other named defendants. Those settlements are valued at $5,200,000 and have been approved by previous orders of the courts.

With the Kawasaki and Tecumseh Settlements, the total settlements are $7,535,000.

The settlements are not an admission of liability, fault, or wrongdoing by the defendants, but are a compromise of disputed claims. The defendants do not admit any wrongdoing or liability in relation to the class actions.

PAYMENT OF SETTLEMENT FUNDS

The settlement funds, minus court-approved lawyers’ fees, disbursements, and applicable taxes, are held in an interest bearing trust account for the benefit of Class Members.

A plan for how the settlement funds will be allocated and paid to Class Members (the “Distribution Protocol”) must be approved by the courts. Once the Distribution Protocol is approved, an online claim portal will open and Class Members can make a claim. Once the time period for making a claim has passed, the court-approved Claims Administrator will review all claims and determine the amount to be paid to each Class Member.

The proposed Distribution Protocol, which remains subject to court approval, can be viewed here.

The Distribution Protocol was updated on October 11, 2018 to provide clarity with respect to: (i) the categories of End User claimants; and, (ii) the Claims Administrator’s discretion in evaluating and adjudicating exceptional circumstances.

The updated Distribution Protocol also reflects increases in certain categories for End Users who provide proof of horsepower. The proposed point values for Upstream Purchasers, who provide proof of horsepower, were also adjusted for certain categories.

COURT APPROVALS

The Kawasaki and Tecumseh Settlements must be approved by the Ontario and Quebec courts before they become effective. The Distribution Protocol must also be approved by the courts.

Hearings have been set for October 25, 2018 at 10 a.m. at 4 Wellington Street, St. Thomas, Ontario and for October 31st, 2018 at 2:15 p.m. at 1, rue Notre-Dame Est, Montreal, Quebec.

At the same time, the Courts will also determine what fees and expenses, plus applicable taxes will be paid to the lawyers for the plaintiffs as a result of the settlements. The lawyers for the plaintiffs will ask the courts to approve legal fees of up to 30% of the Kawasaki and Tecumseh Settlements plus disbursements and applicable taxes to be paid out of the settlement funds (the “Fee Request”). You have the right to comment or object to the Kawasaki and Tecumseh Settlements, the Fee Request, and/or the proposed Distribution Protocol in writing by October 22nd, 2018. Comments and objections should be sent to:

Mail:    Harrison Pensa LLP
           Attn: Jonathan J. Foreman
           450 Talbot Street
           London, ON N6A 5J6

Fax:    1-519-667-3362

E-mail:

If you do not wish to comment or object to the Kawasaki and Tecumseh Settlements, the Fee Request, and/or the proposed Distribution Protocol, you do not need to take any action at this time.

If the Kawasaki and Tecumseh Settlements and proposed Distribution Protocol are approved, then the claims period will open shortly thereafter. Notice of the claims period and information about how to make a claim will be posted on this website.

Key Documents

FURTHER QUESTIONS?

If you have further questions about the Kawasaki and Tecumseh Settlements, the proposed Distribution Protocol, or the case generally, please contact Anni Barry at 1-800-263-0489 ext. 759 or by e-mail to