Clark v. Minebea Co. Ltd., et al.
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.
This case has now settled with the defendants MinebeaMitsumi Inc. (formerly Minebea Co. Ltd.), NMB Korea Co., Ltd., NMB (USA) Inc. and NMB Technologies Corporation. As a condition of the settlement, the Ontario and British Columbia plaintiffs and the settling defendants have agreed to have this action dismissed as against New Hampshire Ball Bearings Inc., concurrently with the settlement approval motion.
The litigation continues against the remaining defendants.
Class members now have the right to exclude themselves from the class actions (“opt-out”). If you opt-out of the class actions, you will not be eligible to participate in the settlement or receive money from the class actions, but you may be able to start or continue your own case regarding the claims at issue against the defendants. If you opt-out, applicable limitation periods concerning your claim will resume running against you. If you do nothing, you will be eligible to participate in the settlement, and may receive money from the class actions, but you will not be able to start or continue your own case regarding the claims at issue against the defendants.
If you do not oppose the settlement, and do not wish to opt-out of the proceeding, you do not need to do anything else at this time.
If you want to make an objection to the settlement or if you want to intervene and speak to the Courts at the hearings, you must send your written submissions to one of the lawyers listed below by January 7, 2019.
If you wish to opt-out of the class actions, you must submit a notice to opt-out received no later than February 6, 2019. For Quebec class members and settlement class members domiciled in Quebec, you must send your exclusion notice to the clerk of the Superior Court. For others, please contact one of the law firms listed below. Further information as well as a copy of the opt-out form can be found below.
Summary of the Proceedings
On March 29, 2016 a Statement of Claim was issued in Ontario against MineabeaMitsumi Inc. (formerly Minebea Co., Ltd.), NMB (USA) Inc., NMB Korea Co., Ltd., NMB Technologies Corporation, New Hampshire Ball Bearings, Inc., NSK LTD., and NSK Canada Inc. (the “Defendants”) on behalf of all Canadians, other than residents of British Columbia and Quebec, who purchased small sized ball bearings (“Bearings”) or products which contained Bearings from June 1, 2003 until October 31, 2011 (the “Class Period”).
The plaintiff alleges that the manufacturers of Bearings and their related entities conspired to fix prices in the Bearings’ market, causing buyers to overpay for Bearings and the products equipped with Bearings bought in Canada. The Courts have yet to determine if this was the case. The plaintiff asks that the Defendants return the monies representing any overpayment for Bearings or products equipped with Bearings in Canada to class members. Bearings are notably used in communication devices, household appliances, video cameras, personal computers, printers, air conditioning units, vacuum cleaners, fishing reels and power tools.
The action seeks to recover the anticompetitive pricing overcharge that class members paid for Bearings during the Class Period.
Harrison Pensa LLP is working in concert with Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman LLP in British Columbia and Belleau Lapointe s.e.n.c.r.l. in Quebec on a national basis in the prosecution of this matter.
Status of the Proceedings
A settlement has been reached with the defendants MinebeaMitsumi Inc. (formerly Minebea Co. Ltd.), NMB Korea Co., Ltd., NMB (USA) Inc. and NMB Technologies Corporation (the “Settling Defendants”).
The Settling Defendants agreed to settle the class actions by paying CDN $1,500,000 for the benefit of the settlement class members, in exchange for a full release of the claims against them relating to the alleged price-fixing of Bearings (the “Settlement”). As the Settling Defendants have represented that the defendant New Hampshire Ball Bearings Inc. (“NHBB”) played no role whatsoever in the alleged price-fixing of Bearings and that none of the Bearings affected by the alleged price-fixing were manufactured or sold by NHBB, the plaintiffs in British Columbia and in Ontario agreed to discontinue the class actions against NHBB as part of the Settlement. A motion for the discontinuance of the class actions against NHBB will be brought at the same time as the settlement approval motions. The dismissal of the claim against NHBB is subject to court approval.
The Settling Defendants also agreed to provide cooperation to the plaintiffs in the class actions against the non-settling defendants. The Settling Defendants do not admit any liability, wrongdoing or fault.
Under this Settlement, the class actions in British Columbia and Ontario will be certified against the Settling Defendants, for the purposes of implementing the settlement agreement only.
Class Counsel will be seeking the approval of the Settlement in the Bearings proceeding. The Courts will decide if the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interest of the settlement class members. At the settlement approval hearings, Class Counsel will be requesting court approval of fees of up to 25% of the settlement amount plus disbursements and applicable taxes. If approved, this amount will be paid to the lawyers out of the settlement amount.
The settlement approval hearings have been scheduled as follows:
- the Superior Court of Quebec on January 22, 2019 at 10:00am, at 1, rue Notre-Dame Est, Montreal, Quebec;
- the Supreme Court of British Columbia on March 7, 2019 at 10:00am, at 800 Smithe Street, Vancouver, British Columbia; and
- the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on February 25, 2019 at 3:30pm, at 1 Courthouse Square, Goderich, Ontario.
Settlement class members now have a chance to review the Settlement and provide any comments or objections. Objections or comments can be sent to one of the lawyers listed below by January 7, 2019.
The period for “opting-out” or excluding yourself is now underway. You have two options:
1. Remain in the Class –Do Nothing
If you do nothing, you will be eligible to participate in, and may receive money from, the ongoing proceeding, but you will not be able to start or continue your own case regarding the claim at issue. You will also be bound by the terms of any settlement and/or judgment, whether favourable or not, and you may not opt-out of this action in the future. If the Settlement is approved, you will not have another opportunity to opt-out of the proceeding in the future.
2. Exclude Yourself from the Class
If you opt-out, you will not be eligible to participate in, or receive money from, the ongoing proceeding, but you may be able to start or continue your own case regarding the case at issue.
If you wish to opt-out, an opt-out form must be completed and provided by mail, courier, fax or e-mail to one of the lawyers listed below by February 6, 2019. The opt-out form can be found here. For Quebec class members, opt-out forms need to be submitted to the clerk of the Superior Court of Québec.
Settlement class members in Canada, excluding British Columbia and Quebec are represented by Harrison Pensa LLP:
Settlement class members in British Columbia are represented by Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman LLP:
Settlement class members in Quebec are represented by Belleau Lapointe s.e.n.c.r.l.:
- Short-Form Notice
- Long-Form Notice
- Settlement Agreement with MinebeaMitsumi Inc. (formerly Minebea Co., Ltd.), NMB (USA) Inc., NMB Korea Co., Ltd., and NMB Technologies Corporation
- Order of Raikes J. for Certification for Settlement Purposes and Notice Approval dated Oct.22, 2018
Persons who believe that they may be members of the proposed class are encouraged to contact Harrison Pensa LLP for further information. Inquiries should be directed to Kassandra Hallett at 1-800-263-0489 ext. 608 or by email to