In re Dental Supplies Antitrust Litigation
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
Case No. 1:16-cv-00696 – BMC-GRB
This case filed under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, concerns allegations of a conspiracy to prevent competition from more efficient providers of dental supplies. Plaintiffs specifically allege that Defendants Patterson Companies, Inc., Henry Schein, Inc., and Benco Dental Supply Company acted in concert to fix margins and unlawfully raise barriers to entry by more efficient, lower priced competitors allowing Defendants to maintain artificially high prices and margins. As a result of this activity, it is alleged that dentists paid higher prices for dental supplies than would have been charged absent the conspiracy, sums they seek to recover through this lawsuit.
Keller Rohrback is serving on the Executive Committee in this antitrust action filed on behalf of purchasers of dental equipment and supplies directly from Patterson Companies, Inc., Henry Schein, Inc., and/or Benco Dental Supply Company.
On February 26, 2016, Plaintiffs filed their Consolidated Class Action Complaint. The Defendants responded with motions to dismiss. Those motions were denied on September 28, 2016. The Court’s decision is available in the Case Documents section below.
On October 22, 2016, Plaintiffs filed their Second Consolidated Class Action Complaint, adding Burkhart Supply Company, as a defendant in this matter. On September 20, 2017, the Court dismissed Burkhart Supply from this matter on the basis that the Court lacked personal jurisdiction over Burkhart.
Subsequently, the parties engaged in extensive discovery, the process of obtaining evidence to support or rebut the claims in the case, lasting throughout 2017 and early 2018. Plaintiffs filed their Motion for Class Certification on February 22, 2018 supported by extensive opinions and analysis from various economic experts. Defendants opposed that motion in April 2018, supported by their own expert testimony.
Following years of hard fought litigation, the parties have reached an agreement on a settlement amount, paying $80 million to the proposed class. On January 9, 2019 the Court granted preliminary approval of the settlement, appointed class counsel and approved the issuance of notice to the class.
The Court’s order sets in motion the schedule for final resolution of this matter. Notice to the class will commence by February 22, 2019, whereby class members will receive instruction as to the terms of the settlement giving them the choice to continue to participate in the settlement, opt out of the settlement, or object to its terms.
There will be a fairness hearing in May 2019 after which the Court will decide whether the settlement will be finally approved. If the settlement is approved, a claims process will then follow.
All persons or entities that purchased dental supplies and equipment from Henry Schein, Patterson, Benco, or Burkhart, during the period beginning August 31, 2008, through and including March 31, 2016.
Excluded from the Class are Defendants, their subsidiaries, affiliate entities and employees, and all federal or state government entities or agencies.
The Court issued an order on January 31, 2019 requiring that the Class Notice make clear that although Burkhart customers are class members who may participate in the settlement, Burkhart itself is not participating.
Second Consolidated Class Action Complaint – 10/22/2016
Order Granting Preliminary Approval of Settlement – 01/09/2019
Order Re Burkhart Participation and Class Notice – 02/01/2019