Transpacific Passenger Air Transportation Antitrust Litigation


The Center for Class Action Fairness (CCAF) at CEI filed an appeal brief in the Transpacific Passenger Air Transportation Antitrust Litigation on November 4, 2015, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The underlying class action litigation alleged a conspiracy of numerous international air carrier defendants to fix prices in violation of the Sherman Act and sought recovery for passengers who had purchased transpacific air travel from the defendants and their alleged co-conspirators. Eight of the thirteen defendants have settled. This appeal relates to the district court’s approval of five of these settlements.

The case settlement contained excessive attorney fee requests of over $16 million and improper settlement class certification. Though class members had claims of wildly differing values, there was only one settlement class that treated all class members the same, leaving a settlement that was not proportional to the harm. The district court approved the settlements, but reduced class counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and expenses by over $5.1 million, for the benefit of the class.

CCAF argues that the settlements inappropriately treat all class members identically despite facing materially different affirmative defenses, creating intraclass conflicts that preclude a finding of adequate representation.

Oral argument before the Ninth Circuit was held on April 21, 2017. The court ruled against CCAF’s objection on June 26, 2017. CCAF subsequently filed for en banc review before the Ninth Circuit on July 10, 2017. 

On August 10, 2017 the court denied CCAF’s request for en banc review.

On October 31, 2017, CEI filed a petition for writ of certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court.

On December 4, 2017 the U.S. Supreme Court denied CEI’s cert petition.