Consumers who paid more than they should have for parking heaters have filed a class action lawsuit against Espar Inc. for engaging in an illegal price-fixing scheme.
What Are Espar Heaters?
Espar Inc. sells parking heaters, which are battery-powered devices that heat the engine and/or interior of a truck without idling the engine, which saves money on fuel. There are essentially two types of heaters: air heaters and coolant heaters, which pre-heat the engine in cold weather.
Espar heaters include:
- Espar Truck Heater
- Espar Parking Heater
- Airtronic Air Heater
- Hydronic Coolant Heater
- And more
Espar Guilty of Price-Fixing Parking Heaters
In March 2015, prosecutors with the Justice Department announced that Espar Inc. had agreed to plead guilty to a one-count felony charge of violating the Sherman Act by conspiring to set the prices of heaters.
Espar and their co-conspirators were accused of discussing the price of heaters, agreeing to set a price floor, coordinating the timing of price increases, exchanging information to monitor and enforce the agreement, and fraudulently selling heaters at inflated prices.
Espar Hit With Class Action in New York
Just days after the criminal plea, Espar was hit with a Class Action Lawsuit (PDF) in federal court in New York. The lawsuit was filed by two plaintiffs who purchased heaters: Audrius Labaciauskas, a man from Illinois, and Raccoon Valley Transport Inc., a corporation based in Iowa.
Both plaintiffs say they were “damaged and paid more for the parking heater than he would have in the absence of the price-fixing conspiracy.”
The class action is seeking compensation on behalf of all people in the United States who purchased parking heaters for commercial vehicles in the aftermarket in the United States between October 1, 2007 and the present.
Parking Heater Class Action Lawsuit
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is nationally recognized as a class action law firm. Our attorneys specialize in helping victims of fraud seek financial compensation from corporations, and we are now investigating class action claims against Espar, Inc.