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SOURCE Bellavia Blatt
MINEOLA, N.Y., Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Bellavia Blatt announced today that as of Aug. 23, 2013, more than 420 plaintiffs – up from 120 – have joined the mass action lawsuit filed against Carfax. The additional plaintiffs resulted in Carfax's increased potential liability of more than $150 Million, up from $50 million previously.
The lawsuit contends that Carfax's exclusive contracts with industry insiders – among them, Cars.com and AutoTrader.com forced auto dealers to sign costly agreements for vehicle history reports. The alleged illegal, anticompetitive practices enabled Carfax to overcharge dealers.
Establishing a monopolistic climate enabled Carfax to publish inaccurate and outdated reports. Customers' demands for free Carfax reports, as advertised on television, compelled dealers to subscribe to Carfax's service. Carfax's anticompetitive practices increased costs to dealers, and ultimately consumers, by hundreds of millions of dollars.
The lawsuit demands a jury trial and seeks treble (three times) damages, interest and attorney's fees. Consequently, a small dealer would potentially recover $105,000; a medium size dealer, $216,000; and a large dealer, $324,000; plus interest and attorney's fees.
Because of the potential gain, dealers are joining the lawsuit on a daily basis. The lawsuit's key objectives are permitting competition and improving the accuracy of the reports.
Leonard A. Bellavia of Mineola-based Bellavia Blatt is leading the lawsuit. Mr. Bellavia serves as general counsel to several national, state and regional dealer associations and represents many of the largest dealer groups in the country. The firm has extensive experience in auto-industry litigation and serves as co-lead counsel in a lawsuit against the federal government on behalf of 150 terminated Chrysler dealers.
"Dealers may still join the lawsuit against Carfax," Mr. Bellavia said. "However, they must act quickly."
To learn more about the lawsuit and to join it, call Bellavia Blatt at 516.873.3000, and ask for Brad Stern. For more information, visit DealerLaw.com.
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