Spring Payout Expected For Diamond Lawsuit
The De Beers class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of two classes: jewelers and other direct purchasers of diamonds (both rough and polished) between Sept. 20, 1997 and March 31, 2006 and indirect purchasers of diamonds (resellers and consumers) who bought diamonds, diamond jewelry or other products containing gem-quality diamonds between January 1, 1994 and March 31, 2006. The suit claimed that De Beers charged anticompetitive prices for the rough diamonds it sold, monopolized the rough diamond market, and disseminated false and misleading advertising. The $295 million settlement has been divided so that $22.5 million will be distributed to the direct purchaser class and $272.5 million to the indirect purchaser class. Given the number of claimants (said to be as much as $60 million) the payout per person will be pretty small.