If you purchased Shell Eggs or Egg Products produced in the United States directly from any producer from January 1, 2000 through July 30, 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.
Who is included in the Settlements & Second Sparboe Amendment?
The Settlement “Classes” include all persons and entities in the United States that purchased Shell Eggs and Egg Products, in the United States directly from any producer from January 1, 2000 through July 30, 2014. Due to the recent Settlements, the prior Sparboe Settlement is amended to add to the Sparboe Settlement Class direct purchases of Shell Eggs and Egg Products from March 1, 2014 through July 30, 2014, expanding the Class Period to make it comparable to the more recent Settlement Classes.
What do the Settlements provide?
Under the settlements, Plaintiffs will release all claims against Midwest, NFC and UEP/USEM. In exchange, Midwest will pay $2.5 million; NFC will pay $1 million; and UEP/USEM will pay $500,000, into a settlement fund for the benefit of the Classes. Plaintiffs also will receive documents and information that Plaintiffs’ attorneys believe will aid in their analysis and prosecution of this Action.
What does the Sparboe Settlement provide?
There is no monetary relief under the Sparboe Settlement. Sparboe agreed to provide substantial and immediate cooperation to Plaintiffs, which the Court already found conferred substantial benefits upon the Class. The second amendment merely conforms the Sparboe Class to the recent Settlement Classes.
What do I do now?
If you are a Class Member your legal rights are affected, and you now have a choice to make.
Participate in the Settlements: No action is required to remain part of the recent Settlements or the amended Sparboe Settlement. If the Court grants final approval to the Settlements and the Second Sparboe Amendment, they will be binding upon you and all other Class Members. By remaining part of the Settlements, you will give up any potential claims that you may have against Midwest, NFC, UEP/USEM and Sparboe relating to the claims alleged in this lawsuit. You may be eligible to receive a settlement payment at a future date.
Ask to be excluded: If you wish to exclude yourself from the Sparboe Settlement as amended (if you had no purchases before March 1, 2014) and/or the recent Settlements 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 the Classes by sending a signed letter to the Claims Administrator postmarked on or before March 6, 2015.
Object: You may notify the Court that you object to the recent Settlements and/or Second Sparboe Amendment by mailing a statement of your objection(s) to the Court, Plaintiffs’ Counsel, and Defense Counsel postmarked by March 6, 2015. Detailed instructions on how to participate, opt out or object are on the settlement website.
The Sparboe Settlement now has been amended a second time to include direct purchases of Shell Eggs and Egg Products between March 1, 2014 and July 30, 2014.