If you purchased eggs, including Shell Eggs and Egg Products, produced from caged birds in the United States directly from any United States egg Producer from January 1, 2000 through February 28, 2014, you could be a Class member in a proposed class action settlement. In the lawsuit In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 08-md-02002, pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants, certain Producers of Shell Eggs and Egg Products, conspired to decrease the supply of eggs. Plaintiffs allege that this supply conspiracy limited, fixed, raised, stabilized, or maintained the price of eggs, which caused direct purchasers to pay more for eggs than they would have otherwise paid. The term “eggs” refers to both Shell Eggs and Egg Products, which are eggs removed from their shells for further processing into a dried, frozen, or liquid form. This lawsuit alleges injuries to direct egg purchasers only, that is, entities or individuals who bought eggs directly from egg Producers. Plaintiffs represent both themselves (the named Plaintiffs) and the entire Class of direct egg purchasers across the United States. The Defendants deny all of Plaintiffs’ allegations.
What does the Cal-Maine Settlement provide?
After engaging in settlement discussions over the course of more than a year and a half, Plaintiffs and Cal-Maine reached a Settlement on August 2, 2013. The Cal-Maine Settlement is between Plaintiffs and Cal-Maine only; it does not affect any of the remaining non-settling Defendants, against whom this case continues. Pursuant to the terms of the Cal-Maine Settlement, Plaintiffs will release Cal-Maine from all pending claims. In exchange, Cal-Maine has agreed to pay $28,000,000 to a fund to compensate Class Members, to provide information concerning Cal-Maine’s knowledge of the facts relating to documents, witnesses, meetings, communications, conduct and events at issue in the Action, and to provide a witness to testify at trial regarding facts or issues in this Action. On February 28, 2014, the Court granted preliminary approval of Cal-Maine Settlement, finding it sufficiently fair, reasonable, and adequate to warrant notifying the Settlement Class. The Cal-Maine Settlement should not be taken as an admission by Cal-Maine of any allegation by Plaintiffs or of wrongdoing of any kind.
What does the Sparboe Settlement provide?
Due to the Cal-Maine Settlement, the prior Sparboe Settlement, approved by the Court in 2012, is amended to add to the Sparboe Settlement Class direct purchases of Shell Eggs and Egg Products from October 24, 2009 through February 28, 2014, expanding the Class Period to make it comparable to the Cal-Maine Class. There is no monetary relief under the Original or Amended Sparboe Settlement. Sparboe agreed to provide substantial and immediate cooperation to Plaintiffs, which the Court already found conferred substantial benefits upon the Class. The amendment merely conforms the Sparboe Class to the Cal-Maine Class.
What Are My Options?
Participate in the Settlements: No action is required to remain part of the Cal-Maine Settlement or the amended Sparboe Settlement. If the Court grants final approval to the Cal-Maine Settlement and the Sparboe Amendment, the Cal-Maine Settlement and Amended Sparboe Settlement will be binding upon you and all other Class Members. By remaining part of the Cal-Maine Settlement, you will give up any potential claims that you may have against Cal-Maine relating to the claims alleged in this lawsuit.You may be eligible to receive a payment from the Cal-Maine Settlement if you submit a completed Claim Form (postmarked no later than August 1, 2014).
Ask to be excluded: If you wish to exclude yourself from the Sparboe Settlement as amended (if you had no purchases before October 24, 2009) and/or the Cal-Maine Settlement and wish to retain your rights to pursue your own lawsuit relating to the claims alleged in this lawsuit, you must formally exclude yourself from one or both Classes by sending a signed letter to the Claims Administrator postmarked on or before August 1, 2014. Additional details concerning how to submit an exclusion are included in FAQ 14.
Object: You may notify the Court that you object to the Cal-Maine Settlement and/or Sparboe Amendment by mailing a statement of your objection(s) to the Court, Plaintiffs’ Counsel, and Defense Counsel postmarked by August 1, 2014. Additional details concerning how to submit an objection are included in FAQ 13.