Toyota in New York State Appellate Victory

February 28, 2006

Cleary Gottlieb won an appeal in New York State Appeals Court for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. affirming the 2004 dismissal of class action claims brought by purchasers of new motor vehicles. Plaintiffs alleged a conspiracy among automobile manufacturers to inflate U.S. car prices by preventing the import of cheaper Canadian cars.

In its decision, the appeals court affirmed that New York law does not permit class action claims brought by plaintiffs seeking a penalty. Because New York’s antitrust law provides for a triple damages remedy, the court held that private plaintiffs may not maintain class action claims under the state’s antitrust law. The court also held that plaintiffs’ allegations did not state a claim for deceptive business practices under New York’s consumer protection law.

New York’s Attorney General had supported the plaintiffs in a friend of the court brief.