December 7, 2022

In a six-page opinion, Choose Maxine M. Chesney denied the electronics producer defendants’ bid to finish plaintiff Flextronics Worldwide USA Inc.’s worth fixing swimsuit. The court docket dominated that Flextronics’ claims had been well timed over contentions that it ought to have identified concerning the swimsuit earlier and thus, that the statute of limitations for its California and Tennessee claims started to run earlier.

The court docket rehashed the allegations made in Flextronics’ Could-filed amended grievance, together with the alleged conspiracy. As beforehand reported, practically a dozen Chinese language, Japanese, and Thai exhausting disk drive (HDD) suspension meeting producers and sellers have been accused of fixing the worth for the {hardware} from as early as 2003 to April 2016.

Flextronics alleges that it purchased HDD suspension assemblies not directly, from Seagate, Toshiba, and Western Digital, which bought the respective HDD merchandise straight from the defendants. Its grievance acknowledged antitrust claims below California and Tennessee legislation, which have 4 and three yr statutes of limitation, respectively.

The defendants’ movement to dismiss countered that based mostly on 4 paperwork pertaining to actions taken by the Japan Truthful Commerce Fee (JFTC) and articles reporting a few assertion made by Hutchinson Expertise Inc. (HTI), one of many defendants, Flextronics ought to have been on inquiry discover of its claims earlier.

The court docket agreed with Flextronics’ opposing argument, that based mostly on the states’ discovery guidelines, the plaintiffs lacked adequate details to trigger the restrictions intervals to start working.

Choose Chesney mentioned that the paperwork had been inadequate to place Flextronics on discover of its claims as a result of they weren’t particular sufficient and as an alternative pertained to a JFTC investigation and a DOJ antitrust probe with regard to HTI. “Additional, even when any of the above 4 articles, both individually or together, would trigger an affordable reader to suspect price-fixing, defendants fail to indicate what info Flex would have found had it made additional inquiry at the moment,” the opinion added.

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Lastly, Choose Chesney famous that the place courts have discovered a plaintiff was on “inquiry discover” of its claims based mostly on publicly obtainable info, the knowledge relied upon had been extremely publicized. “Right here, on the pleading stage, there may be nothing earlier than the Court docket to recommend both the JFTC’s investigation or the DOJ’s investigation was publicized past the articles and press launch cited by defendants,” the opinion reasoned. Flextronics is represented by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.