Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation Overview

This class action lawsuit claims that vitamin C manufacturers conspired to fix, raise, maintain, or stabilize prices of vitamin C and overcharged customers who purchased vitamin C. Vitamin C manufacturers deny they did anything wrong or illegal.

Judge Brian Cogan of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York is overseeing this class action. The lawsuit is known as the In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:06-MD-01738.

Two classes were granted certification by the Court: the Direct Purchaser Damages Class and the Injunction Class. Aland (Jiangsu) Nutraceutical Co., Ltd. ("Aland"), Weisheng Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. (“Weisheng”), and China Pharmaceutical Group Corp. Ltd. (“CPG”) settled with both certified classes. Northeast Pharmaceutical Group Company, Ltd. ("NEPG") was only a Defendant in the Injunction Class, and has also settled.

The Direct Purchaser Damages Class and the Injunction Class plaintiffs presented their case in a jury trial against the defendants in February 2013. The class plaintiffs prevailed, with a $54.1 million verdict against the only remaining defendants who had not yet settled (Hebei Welcome and North China Pharmaceutical Group). Judge Cogan entered a judgment for $153.3 million, trebling these damages under the Sherman Act (and subtracting the amount already paid in settlements with other defendants).

Hebei Welcome and North China Pharmaceutical Group have appealed the jury verdict and other rulings by the Court. The appeal is fully briefed and was argued before the Second Circuit in January 2015. An opinion has not yet been issued.

Aland, NEPG, Weisheng, and CPG have also settled with the Indirect Purchaser Class. More information on the Indirect Purchaser Class is available here.

There are three Settlement Classes. You may be a member of one, two, or all three Classes. The Classes are defined below.

  • Direct Purchaser Class

    If you made a DIRECT purchase of

    • Vitamin C,
    • For delivery in the U.S.
    • Directly from a Defendant or another Chinese manufacturer of vitamin C (except Northeast Pharmaceutical)
    • Between December 1, 2001 and June 30, 2006
    • Without a contract, or with a contract that did not include an arbitration clause.

  • Indirect Purchaser Class

    If you made an INDIRECT purchase of

    • Capsules or tablets containing Vitamin C
    • For use or consumption and not for resale
    • Between December 1, 2001 and June 30, 2006
    • And you currently live in and your purchase was made in one of the following 20 states or the District of Columbia: Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wisconsin.

  • Injunction Class

    • Purchased vitamin C manufactured by a Defendant, or products from any company containing vitamin C manufactured by the Defendants
    • Directly from a Defendant or from any other company
    • For delivery in the U.S.
    • Between December 1, 2001 and now
    • Without a contract, or with a contract that did not include an arbitration clause.

The Chinese government advised the Court that they required the Defendants to engage in the conduct in question as part of its regulation of the Chinese economy. The Court has already determined, in a Memorandum Decision and Order dated September 6, 2011, that the Defendants were not required to fix prices by the Chinese government.

Disclaimer

This site is not operated by the Court, Class Counsel, Defendant’s Counsel, or Defendant. This class action website is supervised by the Court and is administered by Rust Consulting, Inc.