DETROIT — Bridgestone Corp. will pay $9.36 million to settle a multidistrict litigation in support of auto dealers who claim the tire and rubber product maker conspired to rig bids, fix prices and allocate markets for rubber anti-vibration parts.
Attorneys for the auto dealers filed a memorandum in support of the proposed settlement Oct. 17 before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
The new settlement comes just a week after another proposed settlement filed with the Michigan court Oct.9 — this one to settle claims by end-payor plaintiffs, with Bridgestone promising to pay $29.6 million to settle the claims.
As with the earlier settlement, Bridgestone denies any liability in the case. The company promises to cooperate with all attorney proffers, interviews, depositions and the production of documents including transactional data.
The dealer plaintiffs asked the court to approve preliminarily the settlement and provisionally certify the proposed settlement class, among other things.
Bridgestone issued the same statement for the new settlement proposal that it did for the previous one, as follows:
"It is true that a settlement was made related to a 4-year-old contested class action case. We are unable to comment further, other than to reaffirm the Bridgestone Group's longstanding commitment to conducting business in the highest ethical manner in the highest ethical manner in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations."
Tokyo-based Bridgestone pleaded guilty in February 2014 to one felony count of price fixing in Toledo federal district court. The company agreed to pay $425 million to settle the charges brought by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. also agreed to settle suits with the same plaintiffs groups, paying $36.1 million and $11.4 million, respectively, to the end-payor and car dealer groups.