JVC Files Brief in De Beers Anti-Trust Action

Distribution of the De Beers class action settlement been bogged down by appeals – and now the Jewelers Vigilance Committee is asking the court to get things moving.

 

The JVC recently filed a brief and motion in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit seeking “friend of the court” status. The brief and motion urge the Court to uphold the order approving the settlement of the class action lawsuit filed by jewelers and consumers against De Beers. 

 

The JVC notes that small number of consumers, claiming minimal amounts of damages, appealed the court-approved settlement, thereby substantially delaying the payment of claims. 

 

The original claims in the lawsuit brought by representatives of consumers and re-sellers alleged that De Beers acted in a monopolistic manner to control diamond prices. The defendants have not admitted to any such conduct in settling this case, the JVC notes.

 

JVC filed the brief and motion in response to the harsh economic climate jewelry retailers and manufacturers face. The appeals filed by a small number of consumers who seek minimal damages delays payment of millions in claims to resellers that could act as an economic stimulus in the jewelry industry. No payments to thousands of consumers and re-sellers will be made on eligible claims until all appeals are resolved. 

 

The class action lawsuit against De Beers was filed on behalf of three classes of purchasers who bought diamonds during the class period: (1) direct purchasers of diamonds (gem quality rough and polished) who bought from DeBeers, or any of its companies or mining competitors, (2) indirect purchasers of gem quality diamonds for resale, and, (3) consumers who purchased gem quality diamonds.

 

Said Cecilia Gardner, JVC’s president, CEO and general counsel: “Delay in settling the De Beers Class Action lawsuit can harm JVC members, the jewelry industry and ultimately consumers. While JVC does not take any position regarding the specific claims raised by appellants, it does urge the Court to finalize prompt approval of the class action settlement, which will provide much-needed economic stimulus to an industry that is reeling from a distressed economy. Current financial conditions make it very difficult for many jewelers to remain in business. The speedy payment of claims can help JVC members – and many others – to recover at least some of what they allegedly lost as a result of the conduct set out in the law suit.”

 

Updates about the suit can be found on the settlement website, www.diamondsclassaction.com.