Wabtec, Knorr-Bremse AG, and their affiliates will pay a combined $49 million to settle claims in Pittsburgh federal court that they agreed with other top railroad equipment makers not to poach one another’s workers.
The antitrust lawsuit accuses more than a dozen rail equipment makers of reducing employee mobility and suppressing wages by refraining from soliciting or hiring one another’s workers since 2009, the year Wabtec and Knorr reached a no-poach deal.
Similar agreements allegedly followed between Knorr and Faively Transport North America in 2011, and in 2014 between Wabtec and Faively, reported Bloomberg Law.
“We are very proud of this result,” said Lieff Cabraser partner Dean M. Harvey, Interim Co-Lead Class Counsel. “The settlements provide among the largest class member recoveries of any comparable case, and do so in record time.”
“These settlements were the product of extensive, hard-fought negotiations, provide significant payments to class members, and avoid the considerable risks, delays and expense of further litigation,” said Roberta Liebenberg, who is also serving as Interim Co-Lead Counsel and is a senior partner at Fine, Kaplan and Black.
The proposed settlements include a notice plan including the establishment of a case-specific website with relevant court documents and contact information, and a case-specific toll-free phone number that settlement class members may call to pose questions. Today’s motion requests that the Court grant preliminary approval of the settlements, direct Notice to the settlement class, determine a schedule for final approval, and conditionally certify the settlement class.
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