In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation Website
www.eggproductssettlement.com

Frequently Asked Questions

Hillandale and NuCal Settlements

  1. What is this lawsuit about?
  2. Who is included in the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements?
  3. Why are there Settlements with NuCal and the Hillandale/Gettysburg Defendants and what do they provide?
  4. How will the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlement Funds be distributed?
  5. What is the effect of the Court’s final approval of the NuCal and/or Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements?
  6. Who represents the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlement Classes?
  7. How will the lawyers be paid?
  8. When and where will the Court hold a hearing on the fairness of the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements?
  9. How do I object to the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements?
  10. How do I exclude myself from the Settlements?
  11. What happens if I do nothing?
  12. Who is eligible to file a claim in the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements?
  13. How do I file a claim form in the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements?
  14. Must I file a claim form for the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements if I’m filing a Claim Form in the MFI Settlement?


1. What is this lawsuit about?

In this lawsuit, 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; Egg Products are eggs removed from their shells for further processing into a dried, frozen, or liquid form.

Plaintiffs represent both themselves (the named Plaintiffs) and the entire Class of direct purchasers of Shell Eggs and Egg Products across the United States.

Plaintiffs brought this lawsuit as a class action because they believe, among other things, that a class action is superior to filing individual cases and that the claims of each member of the class present and share common questions of law and fact. Plaintiffs claim that Defendants' actions violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, a federal statute that prohibits any agreement that unreasonably restrains competition. Defendants NuCal Foods, Inc. (“NuCal”), Hillandale Farms of Pa., Inc.(“Hillandale Pa.”), and Hillandale-Gettysburg, L.P. (“Hillandale-Gettysburg”) (collectively the “NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements”), and the other Defendants deny all of Plaintiffs’ allegations.

For more information, please consult the Notice.

(back to top)

2. Who is included in the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements?

NuCal and the Hillandale/Gettysburg Defendants entered into separate Settlement Agreements with Plaintiffs, but both agreements include the same Class definition. For purposes of these Agreements, the Settlement Class is defined as follows:

All persons and entities that purchased Shell Eggs and Egg Products in the United States directly from any Producer, including any Defendant, during the Class Period from January 1, 2000 through December 19, 2014.

Excluded from the Settlement Class are:

  1. NuCal, Hillandale Pa., and Hillandale-Gettysburg, the Defendants that remain in the case, prior Settling Defendants (Moark Defendants, Sparboe, Cal-Maine, NFC, Midwest, UEP, and USEM), and their respective parents, subsidiaries and affiliates;
  2. Egg Producers, defined as any person or entity that owns, contracts for the use of, leases, or otherwise controls hens for the purpose of producing eggs for sale, and the parents, subsidiaries, and affiliated companies of such Producers;
  3. All government entities, as well as the Court and staff to whom this case is assigned, and any member of the Court’s or staff’s immediate family.
  4. Purchases of “specialty” Shell Eggs (certified organic, nutritionally enhanced, cage-free, free-range, and vegetarian-fed types), purchases of Egg Products produced from specialty Shell Eggs, and purchases of “hatching” Shell Eggs (used by poultry breeders to produce breeder stock or growing stock for laying hens or meat), and any person or entity that purchased exclusively specialty or hatching eggs.

Persons or entities that fall within the definition of the Settlement Class and do not exclude themselves will be bound by the terms of the Settlement Agreements.

(back to top)

3. Why are there Settlements with NuCal and the Hillandale/Gettysburg Defendants and what do they provide?

The NuCal Settlement. Plaintiffs and Defendant NuCal Foods, Inc. (“NuCal”) began substantive settlement discussions in January 2014. Those discussions continued on an intermittent basis through April 2014, when NuCal shared its unaudited financial statements with Plaintiffs. After extensive arm’s-length negotiations, in May 2014 NuCal and Plaintiffs reached a settlement agreement in principle providing $1,425,000 to a fund to compensate Class Members. The parties executed a formal settlement agreement on August 1, 2014. The settlement amount was based primarily on NuCal’s financial condition and its sales data. Under the settlement, NuCal also will provide information concerning NuCal’s knowledge of the facts relating to documents, witnesses, meetings, communications, conduct and events at issue in the Action, and as many as two witnesses to testify at trial. It is the opinion of Plaintiffs’ attorneys that these nonmonetary benefits will materially assist Plaintiffs in further analyzing and prosecuting this Action against the remaining Defendants. Pursuant to the terms of the NuCal Settlement, Plaintiffs will release NuCal from all pending claims.

The Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlement. Plaintiffs and Defendants Hillandale Farms of Pa., Inc. (“Hillandale Pa.”), and Hillandale-Gettysburg, L.P. (“Hillandale-Gettysburg”) (collectively the “Hillandale/Gettysburg Defendants”) began substantive settlement discussions in the summer of 2014. After approximately four months of extensive arm’s-length negotiations, in September 2014 Plaintiffs and the Hillandale/Gettysburg Defendants reached an agreement in principle providing $3,000,000 to a fund to compensate Class Members. The broad terms of the settlement were memorialized in a binding term sheet on September 19, 2014. The parties executed a formal settlement agreement on October 22, 2014. Under the settlement, the Hillandale/Gettysburg Defendants will assist Plaintiffs in prosecuting this Action against the remaining Defendants by authenticating documents. Pursuant to the terms ofthe Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlement, Plaintiffs will release Hillandale Pa. and Hillandale-Gettysburg, as well as Hillandale Farms East, Inc., and Hillandale Farms, Inc., from all pending claims.

(back to top)

4. How will the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlement Funds be distributed?

The Court has previously approved Plaintiffs’ request for reimbursement of expenses and payment of incentive awards to class representatives from this group of settlements. The NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlement Funds will also be reduced by the expense of providing notice to the Class and/or for administering the claims process. The remainder of these Settlement Funds will be distributed on a pro rata basis among the members of these Settlement Classes who timely and properly submit a valid Claim Form. Your pro rata share will be based on the dollar amount of your direct purchases of Shell Eggs and Egg Products in the United States from Producers (including Defendants) compared to the total purchases of Shell Eggs and Egg Products by all Class Members submitting timely and valid Claim Forms. The Court retains the power to approve or reject, in part or in full, any individual claim of a Class Member based on equitable grounds. Because the alleged overcharge resulting from the conspiracy alleged by Plaintiffs is only a portion of the price paid for Shell Eggs and Egg Products, your recovery will be less than the total amount you paid.

(back to top)

5. What is the effect of the Court’s final approval of the NuCal and/or Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements?

The NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements are binding upon you and all other members of the Settlement Class. By remaining a part of the NuCal and/or Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements, you gave up any claims against NuCal, and/or Hillandale Pa., Hillandale-Gettysburg, Hillandale Farms East, Inc., and Hillandale Farms, Inc., relating to the claims made or which could have been made in this lawsuit. By remaining a part of the Settlements, you retain all claims against all other Defendants, named and unnamed.

(back to top)

6. Who represents the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlement Classes?

The NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlement Classes are represented by the following attorneys:

Mindee J. Reuben
Lite DePalma Greenberg, LLC
1835 Market Street , Suite 2700
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Michael D. Hausfeld
HAUSFELD LLP
1700 K Street NW, Suite 650
Washington, DC 20006

Stanley D. Bernstein
BERNSTEIN LIEBHARD LLP
10 East 40th Street, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10016

Stephen D. Susman
SUSMAN GODFREY LLP
560 Lexington Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10022-6828


(back to top)

7. How will the lawyers be paid?

These attorneys and their respective firms are referred to as Class Counsel. The Court has ordered that Class Counsel will be paid $1,694,796.24 collectively from the NuCal and Hillandale Settlement Funds. Class Counsel filed their motion on April 7, 2015 and the Court granted the requested payments in an Order on July 5, 2016. The Motion for Reimbursement of Expenses and Court Order are available on this website under the "Court Documents" tab.

(back to top)

8. When and where will the Court hold a hearing on the fairness of the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements?

The Court considered both the Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs' Motion for Final Approval of the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements and the Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs' Motion for Reimbursement of Expenses relating to the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements on Wednesday, July 1, 2015.

The purpose of the Fairness Hearing was to determine whether the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements are fair, reasonable, and adequate and whether the Court should enter judgment granting final approval of these Settlements. You did not need to attend this hearing. You or your own lawyer could have attended the hearing if you wished, at your own expense. Class Members are advised to check this website for any updates.

(back to top)

9. How do I object to the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements?

The deadline to object to the NuCal Settlement and/or the Hillandale Settlement (including the Motion for Reimbursement of Expenses) was May 22, 2015. Additional details are available in the Notice.

(back to top)

10. How do I exclude myself from the Settlements?

The deadline to request exclusion from the NuCal Settlement and/or the Hillandale Settlement was May 22, 2015. Additional details are available in the Notice.

(back to top)

11. What happens if I do nothing?

If you do nothing, you will remain a member of the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlement Classes. As a member of these Settlement Classes, you will be represented by the law firms listed above in Question 6 and you will not be charged a fee for the services of such counsel and any other class counsel. Rather, counsel will be paid, if at all, as allowed by the Court from some portion of whatever money they may ultimately recover for you and other members of the Settlement Class. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

(back to top)

12. Who is eligible to file a claim in the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements?

You are a member of the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlement Classes if (i) you did not previously exclude yourself from these Settlements, and (ii) you purchased Shell Eggs and/or Egg Products in the United States directly from any Producer, including any Defendant, from January 1, 2000 through October 3, 2014 (NuCal Settlement), and/or from January 1, 2000 through December 19, 2014 (Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlement).

Excluded from the Settlement Classes are (a) Defendants; (b) Producers; (c) All government entities, as well as the Court and staff to whom this case is assigned, and any member of the Court’s or staff’s immediate family; and(d) Purchases of “specialty” Shell Eggs (“organic,” “certified organic,” “nutritionally enhanced,” “cage-free,” “free-range,” and “vegetarian-fed types”), purchases of Egg Products produced from specialty Shell Eggs, purchases of “hatching” Shell Eggs (used by poultry breeders to produce breeder stock or growing stock for laying hens or meat), and any person or entity that purchased exclusively specialty or hatching eggs.

(back to top)

13. How do I file a claim form in the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements?

You should carefully read the descriptions of the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlement Classes set forth in the notice to verify that you are a Class Member. Next, you should review your records and confirm that you purchased the Shell Eggs and/or Egg Products during the relevant time periods. A Claim Form must be completed by the Class Member and returned to the address indicated on the Claim Form. Claim Forms must be sent by first-class mail postmarked by, or pre-paid delivery service to be hand-delivered by October 9, 2017. Any Class Member who does not complete and timely return the Claim Form will not be entitled to share in these finally-approved Settlements.

If you filed a valid and timely Claim Form for your Shell Egg or Egg Products purchases in the Settlement with the Moark Defendants or Defendant Cal-Maine, you need not submit a new Claim Form to share in the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements for those same purchases. If you wish to receive an award for purchases that post-date those included in your valid Moark or Cal-Maine Claim Form, you must submit another Claim Form, but it need include only those purchases that post-date or supplement those provided in your prior Claim Form(s). You will still receive an award based on all of your eligible purchases, including those provided in your prior Claim Forms. If you do not wish to receive an award from NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements for purchases that post-date or supplement those purchases that were previously included in your prior Claim Form(s), you need not submit a new Claim Form. You will receive an award based on the eligible purchases on your prior Claim Form.

(back to top)

14. Must I file a claim form for the NuCal and Hillandale/Gettysburg Settlements if I’m filing a Claim Form in the MFI Settlement?

Yes. The settlements involve different products, sellers, and time periods.

(back to top)