Time To Remove Treble Damages From Antitrust Class Actions

Law360 (September 28, 2020, 2:37 PM EDT) -- When Sen. John Sherman wrote the original antitrust law, multiple damages were in vogue. The original version of the federal False Claims Act dealing with corruption during the civil war had established a trend.

In order to deter illegal conduct, not only were actual damages recoverable, but the plaintiff or government would be entitled to multiple damages. That way, putative wrongdoers could not make a calculated decision to violate the law knowing that the worst possible outcome would be repayment of their ill-gotten gains.

What Sherman could not anticipate, but which has become the reality, is that whenever there is a...

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