DIRECT AND COMMERCIAL INDIRECT FOOD INDUSTRY SETTLEMENTS
Class Action Capital has identified that many supermarket, restaurants, and other food industry corporations are likely eligible for pro-rata payments in multiple Class Action Litigation. The majority of these cases stem from allegations that defendants conspired to fix, raise and maintain pricing of their products, resulting in purchasers paying higher prices than they would have in a competitive market in violation of state and federal antitrust laws.
Many companies that we speak with are eligible for these refunds but do not wish to pursue the claims filing internally due to limitations on their time and resources. Additionally, many firms’ data retention policies limit the relevant documentation they can readily gather.
Class Action Capital specializes in claim preparation and filing for over 5,000 corporate clients across the country. Our offer is to assist your company in recovering your pro-rata share of the settlement funds by handling all the heavy lifting – including data collection and analysis, claim preparation and filing – on your behalf.
The only thing Class Action Capital needs to get started is for your company to complete our Claim Authorization Form (below). Once completed, we will get to work analyzing your claim to prepare and file for the impending deadlines in a timely manner.
BUTTER & CHEESE DIRECT CLASS ACTION – $220,000,000 (63% for cheese class, 37% for butter class)
This settlement alleges that defendants and their co-conspirators – agricultural cooperatives representing approximately 70% of the dairy production in the United States – conspired to remove milking cows pursuant to a “Herd Retirement Program” from production for the express purpose of artificially driving up the prices of butter, cheese, and raw milk.
The settlement benefits those who purchased butter and/or cheese directly from one or more members of the Dairy Farmer Cooperative and/or their subsidiaries between 2008-2013. A $220,000,000 settlement was reached between the class and defendant cooperative. The claims deadline is April 23, 2021.
IN RE: BROILER CHICKEN ANTITRUST – DIRECT PURCHASER CLASS – $170,261,600 (with more expected)
This lawsuit alleges that beginning in 2008, broiler chicken producers coordinated their efforts to artificially reduce the supply of broiler chickens for sale in the United States, knowing that supply reductions would increase prices. Broiler chickens constitute approximately 98% of all chicken meat sold in the United States. The plaintiffs allege that the defendant producers, who comprise approximately 90% of the broiler chicken market and include brand names like Tyson, Perdue, and Sanderson Farms coordinated their supply reductions by sharing confidential production information with one another, closing plants, exporting hatching eggs, and destroying their breeder hens. As a result, during that time broiler chicken prices have increased by nearly 50%.
The direct purchaser class includes all businesses that purchased Broiler Chickens directly from any defendant or co-conspirator for their own use or for delivery in the United States between January 1, 2008 – December 20, 2019.
Settlements totaling $170,261,600 have been reached with defendants. We expect the settlement fund to significantly increase as more than half of the defendants are remaining as measured by market share.
IN RE: BROILER CHICKEN ANTITRUST – COMMERCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL PURCHASER CLASS – $80,400,000 (with more expected)
This lawsuit alleges roughly the same facts as the direct purchaser class, but eligibility differs slightly. This case includes all entities who purchased Broiler Chickens from someone other than the Defendants or co-conspirators for commercial food preparation in Class States since 2008.
Class states include: Arizona, Arkansas, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
We expect this fund to grow substantially if and when other defendants settle.
IN RE: PACKAGED SEAFOOD PRODUCTS ANTITRUST LITIGATION – COMMERCIAL FOOD SERVICE PRODUCT CLASS
This case alleges that the three major manufacturers of packaged tuna – Bumble Bee, Starkist and Chicken of the Sea colluded to fix the cost of packaged tuna-fish in the United States from 2011-2016.
The class action followed a 2015 Department of Justice investigation that resulted in large fines and possible prison sentences to some of the defendants. The court has already certified three distinct classes: Direct Purchasers, Commercial Food Service Product Purchasers, and General Indirect Purchasers. The class includes all businesses in Class States that indirectly purchased Bumble Bee, Starkist, and Chicken of the Sea tuna fish in packages of 40 ounces or more from a food distributor such as DOT Foods, Sysco, US Foods, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, or Costco from 2011-2016.
Class states include Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Colombia.
In 2019, an ice-breaker settlement was reached with Chicken of the Sea for $6,500,000, but that settlement was thrown out for not being substantial enough to provide reasonable compensation to the class in light of the alleged damages. As Chicken of the Sea holds a 15% market share, we expect the final fund to be substantial.
In 2020, class counsel filed a motion for summary judgment in the hopes of winning the case outright and receiving trebled damages. That motion is pending.
IN RE: PACKAGED SEAFOOD PRODUCTS ANTITRUST LITIGATION – DIRECT PURCHASER CLASS
This case alleges essentially the same facts as the Commercial Food Service Product Class, but the class includes all those who purchased packaged tuna products in all sizes anywhere in the United States directly from Bumble Bee, Starkist, and Chicken of the Sea between June 2011 and July 2015.
While class certification has been granted, no settlements in the direct reach have been reached at this time, but we expect that settlements will likely be reached in the coming months.
IN RE: PORK ANTITRUST LITIGATION
This case, which was brought on behalf of both direct and indirect purchasers, alleges that the leading manufacturers of pork in the United States colluded to fix the supply and market for pork from 2009 to the present. Relying on much of the evidence uncovered in the broiler chicken case, class counsel alleges that the conspiracy also applied to the pork industry and included major manufacturers of pork, including Tyson, Perdue, and Sanderson Farms.
IN RE: CATTLE ANTITRUST LITIGATION
his case alleges that the alleged price-fixing conspiracies in the chicken and pork industries expanded to the beef industry beginning in 2015. The defendants include the leading manufacturers of beef who collectively hold more than a 70% market share, including Tyson, Cargill, National Beef Co., and JBS. The proposed classes include those who purchased beef directly or indirectly from the major beef manufacturers since 2015.
TURKEY ANTITRUST LITIGATION – SANDEE’S CATERING V. AGRI STATS, INC., ET AL.
This case alleges that the alleged price-fixing conspiracies in the chicken industry extended to the turkey industry as well. The case has proposed direct and indirect classes comprised of those who purchased turkey manufactured by one of the major distributors from 2010-2018.
IN RE: FARM RAISED-SALMON AND SALMON PRODUCTS LITIGATION
This case alleges that the major fisheries and suppliers of farm raised Atlantic salmon have colluded to fix the price of farm raised Atlantic salmon dating back to July 2015. The proposed class includes direct purchases of farm raised-salmon and salmon products (eg: smoked salmon, belly lox, gravlax, salmon jerky) from July 2015-Present.
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