TRUCKEE CALIFORNIA, August 1, 2019 - The Nevada County Superior Court has entered a final order approving the settlement of a class action that alleged Snowtech, Inc. and Waltman Construction, Inc. – which merged in March 2017 to form Elements Mountain Co. – engaged in an almost decade-long conspiracy to fix the price of snow removal services sold to residents of Tahoe Donner, in Truckee, California.
The settlement provides substantial compensation to any person who purchased snow removal services from Snowtech or Waltman during any snow removal season beginning with the 2008-09 season and continuing through the 2016-17 season. A person who purchased snow removal services from Snowtech or Waltman during each of those seasons will receive a total of $390 in vouchers redeemable for snow removal services or a lower cash amount. Elements Mountain Co., moreover, is barred from raising snow removal prices in Tahoe Donner for the next three years (until the 2022/2023 snow removal season). The total value of the settlement, depending on the level of class member participation in the settlement, could well exceed $3,000,000.
No objections were received to the settlement, and only 20 out of over 8,000 potential class members opted out. Based on this response and the significant value that the settlement provides to victims of the conspiracy, the Court held that the settlement is “reasonable, adequate and fair to all members of the certified class.”
Mark L. Lasser of Lasser Law Office, a Truckee/ Tahoe attorney and resident who represented the class noted, “We believe this case sends an important message that no one is above the law, the antitrust laws must be respected, and will help to promote fair competition in the snow removal services market in Truckee/ Tahoe in the future.”
Stuart Gross of Gross & Klein LLP, who served as co-counsel in the class action lawsuit, stated, “This is a solid result. The settlement ensures that victims of the defendants’ conspiracy are well compensated for the injuries they suffered; and it sends a clear message that claims of illegal price-fixing will be aggressively pursued.”
The case is captioned: Cramer et al. v. Elements Mountain Co. et al., No. TCU17-6880