LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AND CONTINGENCIES
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2019
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AND CONTINGENCIES||
LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AND CONTINGENCIES
We are involved in a number of judicial proceedings and other matters arising from the conduct of our business.
Although there can be no assurance as to the ultimate outcome, we have generally denied, or believe we have a meritorious defense and will deny, liability in all pending matters, including (except as otherwise noted herein) the matters described below, and we intend to vigorously defend each matter. We accrue amounts associated with legal proceedings when and to the extent a loss becomes probable and can be reasonably estimated. The actual costs of resolving legal proceedings may be substantially higher or lower than the amounts accrued on those claims.
For matters as to which we are not able to estimate a possible loss or range of losses, we are not able to determine whether any such loss will have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or liquidity. For matters in this category, we have indicated in the descriptions that follow the reasons that we are unable to estimate the possible loss or range of losses.
In February 2015, the State and City of New York filed suit against UPS in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, arising from alleged shipments of cigarettes to New York State and City residents. The complaint asserted claims under various federal and state laws. The complaint also included a claim that UPS violated the Assurance of Discontinuance it entered into with the New York Attorney General in 2005 concerning cigarette deliveries. On March 24, 2017, the District Court issued an opinion and order finding liability against UPS on each of the plaintiffs’ causes of action. On May 25, 2017, the District Court issued a corrected opinion and order on liability and an order awarding the plaintiffs damages of $9 million and penalties of $238 million. Following an appeal, on November 7, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an order awarding the plaintiffs damages of $19 million and penalties of $79 million. An accrual of $100 million with respect to this matter is included on our consolidated balance sheets at December 31, 2019. We estimate that the amount of losses could be up to $247 million, plus interest; however, the amount of penalties ultimately payable, if any, is subject to a variety of complex factors and potential outcomes that could be determined in future legal proceedings, which would include a petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court.
We are a defendant in a number of lawsuits filed in state and federal courts containing various class action allegations under state wage-and-hour laws. At this time, we do not believe that any loss associated with any matter would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity. One of these matters, Hughes v. UPS Supply Chain Solutions, Inc. and United Parcel Service, Inc. had previously been certified as a class action in Kentucky state court. In the second quarter of 2019, the court granted our motion for judgment on the pleadings related to the wage-and-hour claims. The plaintiffs have appealed this decision.
In October 2015, the Department of Justice ("DOJ") informed us of an industry-wide inquiry into the transportation of mail under the United States Postal Service ("USPS") International Commercial Air contracts. In October 2017, we received a Civil Investigative Demand seeking certain information relating to our contracts. The DOJ has indicated it is investigating potential violations of the False Claims Act or other statutes. We are cooperating with the DOJ. We are unable to predict what action, if any, might be taken in the future by any government authorities as a result of their investigation. Accordingly, at this time, we are not able to estimate a possible loss or range of losses that may result from this matter or to determine whether such loss, if any, would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.
In August 2016, Spain’s National Markets and Competition Commission (“CNMC”) announced an investigation into 10 companies in the commercial delivery and parcel industry, including UPS, related to alleged nonaggression agreements to allocate customers. In May 2017, UPS received a Statement of Objections issued by the CNMC. In July 2017, UPS received a Proposed Decision from the CNMC. On March 8, 2018, the CNMC adopted a final decision, finding an infringement and imposing a fine on UPS of €19 million. UPS appealed the decision and in September 2018, obtained a suspension of the implementation of the decision (including payment of the fine). The appeal is pending. There are multiple factors that prevent us from being able to estimate a possible loss or range of losses that may result from this matter or to determine whether such loss, if any, would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity including: (1) we are vigorously defending ourselves and believe that we have a number of meritorious legal defenses; and (2) there are unresolved questions of law and fact that could be important to the ultimate resolution of this matter.
In February 2018, the Turkish Competition Authority ("Authority") opened an investigation into nine companies in the small package industry, including UPS, related to alleged customer allocations in violation of Turkish competition law. In April 2018, the Authority consolidated this investigation with two other investigations involving similar allegations. The consolidated investigation involves over 30 companies. In January 2020, the Authority held a hearing and announced a summary decision, finding an infringement and imposing an immaterial fine on UPS. We do not believe that any loss associated with this matter will have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.
We are a party in various other matters that arose in the normal course of business. We do not believe that the eventual resolution of these other matters (either individually or in the aggregate), including any reasonably possible losses in excess of current accruals, will have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity.
The entire disclosure for legal proceedings, legal contingencies, litigation, regulatory and environmental matters and other contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef