Engagements

CRA expert engaged on behalf of nation’s largest transportation companies in alleged no-poach class action litigation

Details of Suspension Bridge Cable Against Blue Sky

Dr. Timothy Snail provided expert economic analysis of class certification and damages issues on behalf of a joint defense group (CRST International, CRST Expedited, C.R. England, Stevens Transport) and settled defendants, who are among the nation’s largest transportation companies, in a high-profile antitrust class action litigation. Citing US Department of Justice antitrust guidance for human resource professionals, truck driver plaintiffs alleged a nationwide no-poach conspiracy among long-distance trucking companies, and monopsonization that would reduce drivers’ information about job opportunities, restrict labor mobility and suppress wages. Plaintiffs sought more than $100 million in antitrust damages before trebling. The CRA team’s analyses showed that the foundation of plaintiffs’ and their experts’ classwide theory of harm is false and individualized issues predominate over questions of law or fact common to class members.

The court denied class certification on predominance grounds, citing Dr. Snail’s opinions in finding that plaintiffs’ economic expert had not established a reliable methodology for measuring damages on a classwide basis, and in support of a host of other challenges to the methodology. The court later denied reconsideration of class certification under a narrower class definition, again citing Dr. Snail’s opinions challenging the reliability of plaintiffs’ expert’s damages methodology.

Named plaintiffs continued to pursue their individual claims, and their experts submitted reports on merits and damages. Dr. Snail offered rebuttal opinions on causation, merits, and damages (eg, whether plaintiffs had access to information about compensation at competing companies, whether plaintiffs had labor mobility, whether defendants had the market power to make a conspiracy economically rational, and whether wages were suppressed). The matter settled favorably for our client while a ruling on summary judgment motions was pending.

Margaret Sanderson, Vice President and Practice Leader of CRA’s Antitrust & Competition Economics Practice said “economic analysis of class certification is a significant aspect of our litigation consulting work and it’s gratifying to see Dr. Snail’s deep expertise recognized by the court in citing his opinions.”

The matter is Curtis Markson et al. v. CRST International et al., US District Court for the Central District of California. The team was led by Jarrod Welch and included Jonathan Blumenstein, Ann McDermott, Kristopher Hult, Jeffrey CisykLisa Stockley, Assaf Zimring, Matthew Arck, and Alfia Karimova.