The Netherlands

On behalf of the team

On 23 June 2021, the District Court of Rotterdam ruled in the case of claim vehicle Stichting Elevator Cartel Claim against the Dutch company Kone B.V. and the Finnish company Kone OYJ.[1] In this lift cartel damage case, the District Court had to assess whether the claims foundation to which some 40 public housing associations have assigned their claims had complied with its obligation to furnish facts regarding damage and causality. In doing so, the District Court ruled that in the case of specific indications that an agreement had been concluded between a public housing association and one or more cartel participants in the infringement period, it is plausible that the price paid was influenced by the lift cartel.

The District Court then assessed for each underlying party whether the foundation had made sufficient assertions to make the possibility of damage plausible. In this respect, it must always be proven that the party seeking damages contracted with or made payments to a cartel participant during the infringement period.

The District Court also held with regard to the passing-on defence that, in view of the point system to determine a reasonable (maximum) rent, it is not plausible that the injured parties passed on the additional price for the entire amount. In the end, the District Court concluded that all or part of the alleged damage had been made plausible for all underlying parties and that the case would therefore be referred (for that part) to the follow-up proceedings for the determination of damages.

[1] Rotterdam District Court 23 June 2021, CLI:NL:RBROT:2021:6636.