Senator SEAN T. KEAN
District 11 (Monmouth)
Permits indirect purchasers to seek damages under State antitrust laws.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning recovery of damages in antitrust actions and amending P.L.1970, c.73.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 12 of P.L.1970, c.73 (C.56:9-12) is amended to read as follows:
12. a. Any person who shall be injured in his business or property by reason of a violation of the provisions of this act, regardless of whether the injured person dealt directly or indirectly with the defendant, may sue therefor and shall recover threefold the damages sustained by him, together with reasonable attorneys' fees, filing fees and reasonable costs of suit. Reasonable costs of suit may include, but shall not be limited to the expenses of discovery and document reproduction.
b. The State and any of its political subdivisions and public agencies shall be deemed a person within the meaning of this section. The Attorney General, on behalf of the State or any of its political subdivisions or public agencies, or the political subdivision or public agency at the direction of or with the permission of the Attorney General, may institute an action to recover the damages provided for by this section or by any comparable provisions of Federal law.
(cf: P.L.1970, c.73, s.12)
2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to actions commenced on or after the effective date.
This bill amends the “New Jersey Antitrust Act,” P.L.1970, c.73 (C.56:9-1 et seq.), to provide that indirect purchasers of goods and services are permitted to bring an action in antitrust cases.
In Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, 431 U.S. 720 (1977), the United State Supreme Court ruled that federal antitrust statutes did not permit consumers who are indirect purchasers of goods or services to sue for antitrust violations. The Supreme Court of New Jersey, in Wilson v. General Motors Corp., 190 N.J. 336 (2007), applied the Illinois Brick Co. interpretation so as to preclude indirect purchasers from asserting a private cause of action under the “New Jersey Antitrust Act.” This bill is intended to clarify that under the "New Jersey Antitrust Act" indirect purchasers of goods and services have standing to sue for damages, attorney’s fees, filing fees and reasonable costs of suit in antitrust cases.