Mississippi Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal in Auto Parts Price Fixing Case

April 30, 2020

Cleary Gottlieb represented Yazaki in a unanimous decision handed down by the Mississippi Supreme Court on April 30, 2020, in which it affirmed the dismissal of all claims brought by the Mississippi Attorney General against several manufacturers of automotive wire harnesses.

Cleary played a leading role in the joint defense group on the Supreme Court briefing.

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice settled price-fixing claims against several automotive wire harness manufacturers that resulted in large fines and criminal penalties. Three years later, the Mississippi State Attorney General brought suit against wire harness manufacturers in Mississippi state court alleging that the price-fixing conspiracy violated the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act and the Mississippi Antitrust Act, and that the conduct was a tort of civil conspiracy.

The Mississippi Chancery Court dismissed all three claims against the auto parts manufacturers for failure to state a claim. The State Attorney General then appealed the Chancery Court’s decision to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

In the appeal before the Mississippi Supreme Court, Cleary played a lead role in drafting the brief on behalf of Yazaki and the other defendant-appellees.