Right to repair lawsuits filed against John Deere consolidated to Midwest court

From staff reports

There are now nine cases that will go before the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Illinois regarding the right to repair issue with John Deere. DeLine Farms filed the latest suit, a large operation that has locations in Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, and Arkansas. They own many John Deer Units and claim they “suffered antitrust injury through a John Deere services contract. The nine lawsuits also include the original filings. The lawsuits are being transferred from other states with a majority of them having proximity closer to Illinois. 

The cases allege that John Deere violated the Sherman Act and claim that John Deere owes them for damages incurred from January 2018 to now. Complaints cite that John Deere monopolized the repair market with their onboard central computers known as engine control units or ECUs. The Right to Repair issue has been addressed in 32 states to date as legislation. John Deere stated to DTN that they have “empowered” customers to repair their equipment. Their program, “Customer Service ADVISER,” is available for purchase to customers that allows them online access to diagnostic information, videos, definitions, and manuals for self-repair. It is available not only to individual farmers but to independent repair shops. They made it available last month.

There are a total of 12 class-action lawsuits filed against John Deere, but only nine will be heard in district court. The other three did not make a valid argument for injury. Oklahoma, Illinois, Minnesota, and other states are where the operations do business.

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