UK Trains collective action: Gutmann v London & South Eastern Railway Limited and Others
In the first standalone opt-out collective claim ever filed in the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal, Mr Gutmann seeks to represent millions of passengers who have paid twice for part of their journeys on Southeastern and South Western routes.
Hausfeld and Charles Lyndon act for Justin Gutmann, formerly a Head of Research and Insight at Citizens Advice, in his application to pursue an opt-out collective action against the operators of the South Western and Southeastern rail franchises. It is estimated to be worth around £93 million in damages.
Boundary fares allow passengers who own a Travelcard to travel beyond the zones covered by their Travelcard without doubling up on payment. Mr Gutmann alleges that First MTR South Western Trains, Stagecoach South Western Trains and London & South Eastern Railway did not make boundary fares readily available for Travelcard holders to purchase or make passengers aware of their existence. These failures have left customers with little option but to buy a higher fare than required because their Travelcard already entitled them to travel for part of their journey. Mr Gutmann alleges that this imposition of unfair prices is an abuse of the rail companies’ dominant market position and in breach of UK and EU competition laws.
Passengers who owned a Travelcard at any time from 1 October 2015 and also purchased a rail fare from a station within the zones of their Travelcard to a destination outside of those zones may be eligible for compensation.
Hausfeld and Charles Lyndon are co-counsel on this claim which is funded by Woodsford Litigation Funding Limited, a founding member of the Association of Litigation Funders of England and Wales.
The Lawyer 2020 Awards shortlisted Hausfeld together with Charles Lyndon, for Competition & Regulatory Team of the Year in respect of Mr Gutmann’s claim.
The claim was certified on 19 October 2021 when the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) approved Mr Justin Gutmann as class representative in this landmark standalone claim. Affected passengers who live in the UK will be automatically included in the claim although they can choose to opt-out in due course. Affected passengers who do not live in the UK will also be eligible to join the claim but must proactively opt-in.
Please access the dedicated website.