March 30, 2012
Objectors to DeBeers Diamond Antitrust Settlement Petition for Certiorari
We reported in December 2011 [http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/civpro/2011/12/third-circuit-upholds-295-million-settlement-class-in-de-beers-diamond-antitrust-suits.html] about the Third Circuit’s en banc approval of the settlement in the DeBeers Diamond antitrust litigation, Sullivan v. DB Investments.
Two objecting class members have filed a cert petition in the U.S. Supreme Court, listing the Questions Presented as:
1. May a court certify for settlement purposes a class that includes both class members who can state a claim against the defendant and class members who cannot state any claim whatsoever?
2. May a court approve a class action settlement that provides the same compensation both to class members who can state valid claims against the defendant and class members who cannot state any valid claim whatsoever?
They further state, “Petitioners are indirect purchaser class members who reside in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Murray) and Hawaii (Luke), jurisdictions that permit indirect purchasers to maintain a claim for antitrust violations. Each of the Petitioners filed in the district
court a timely objection to the proposed allocation that treats each class member the same, regardless of whether the class member can state a claim for damages against De Beers. The district court overruled those objections, and the Petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeals [which ultimately affirmed].”