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

Frequently Asked Questions

Litigation Class and Michael Foods Settlement

  1. What is this lawsuit about?
  2. Has the Court finally approved other settlements in this case?
  3. Who are the lawyers representing you?
  4. How will the lawyers be paid?
  5. Who is included in the Litigation Class?
  6. What does it mean to exclude myself from the Litigation Class?
  7. How do I exclude myself from the Litigation Class?
  8. What happens if I do nothing?
  9. When is the trial and do I have to attend?
  10. Who is included in the MFI Settlement Class?
  11. What does the MFI Settlement provide?
  12. How will the MFI Settlement Fund be distributed?
  13. How do I file a Claim Form in the MFI Settlement?
  14. What is the difference between excluding myself from the MFI Settlement or objecting to the MFI Settlement?
  15. How do I exclude myself from the MFI Settlement?
  16. How do I object to the proposed MFI Settlement?
  17. What happens if I do nothing?
  18. What is the effect of the Court’s final approval of the MFI Settlement?
  19. When is the final Fairness Hearing?


1. What is this lawsuit about?

Plaintiffs allege that Defendants conspired to decrease the supply of eggs which caused the price of eggs to artificially increase and direct purchasers to pay more for Shell Eggs and Egg Products than they would have otherwise paid. This lawsuit alleges injuries to direct egg purchasers only, that is, entities or individuals who bought eggs directly from Defendants. A separate case is pending wherein the plaintiffs allege a conspiracy to fix egg prices that injured indirect egg purchasers. An indirect egg purchaser buys eggs from a direct purchaser of eggs (such as a retailer or distributor) or another indirect purchaser.

Defendants have denied all liability for this conduct and asserted that their conduct was lawful and/or exempt from the antitrust laws, among other defenses. On 9/18/2015 (as amended 11/12/2015), the Court certified a Litigation Class of all individuals and entities that purchased Shell Eggs (but not Egg Products) in the United States directly from Defendants. On 2/2/2016, the Court defined the Litigation Class Period as 9/24/2004 through 12/31/2008.

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2. Has the Court finally approved other settlements in this case?

Yes. The Court has previously granted final approval to the following settlements:

Sparboe Settlement—Plaintiffs settled with Defendant Sparboe Farms Inc. for cooperation that substantially assisted Plaintiffs in prosecuting the claims in this Action.

Moark Settlement—Plaintiffs settled with Defendant Sparboe Farms Inc. for cooperation that substantially assisted Plaintiffs in prosecuting the claims in this Action.

Cal-Maine Settlement—Plaintiffs settled with Defendant Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. for $28 million and cooperation. The submission deadline for claims in this settlement has passed and funds will be distributed in the coming months.

NFC Settlement—Plaintiffs settled with NFC for $1 million and cooperation.

Midwest Settlement—Plaintiffs settled with Midwest for $2.5 million and cooperation.

UEP/USEM Settlement—Plaintiffs settled with Defendants UEP and USEM for $500,000 and cooperation.

NuCal Settlement—Plaintiffs and NuCal settled for $1,425,000 and cooperation

Hillandale Settlement—Plaintiffs and Defendants Hillandale Pa. and Hillandale-Gettysburg settled for $3 million and cooperation.

The Defendants remaining in this case are: Rose Acre Farms, Inc.; Ohio Fresh Eggs, LLC; & R.W. Sauder, Inc. (collectively, “Non-Settling Defendants”).

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3. Who are the lawyers representing you?

The Court appointed the following lawyers to represent the Litigation Class and the Michael Foods, Inc. (“MFI”) Settlement Class:

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


These lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. You are not personally responsible for payment of attorneys’ fees or expenses for Class Counsel.

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4. How will the lawyers be paid?

Class Counsel are paid attorneys’ fees and expenses out of the settlement funds and, if successful at trial, by Defendants found liable for the claims. Class Counsel was previously awarded expenses by the Court out of the NFC, Midwest, UEP/USEM, NuCal and Hillandale Settlement Funds and will not be seeking further fees or expenses, other than claim administration costs, from those Settlement Funds.

With respect to the MFI Settlement, Class Counsel will file a motion (the “Fee Petition”) on or before September 8, 2017, that asks the Court to approve payment of attorneys’ fees in an amount not to exceed 33 1/3% of $75 million, as well as for reimbursement of litigation costs and expenses incurred, including fees and costs expended while providing notice to the Class and administering the settlement. Once filed, the Fee Petition will be available on the settlement website, www.eggproductssettlement.com, and you will have an opportunity to object to it. Any fees and expenses approved by the Court in connection with the Fee Petition will be paid out of only the MFI Settlement Fund.

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5. Who is included in the Litigation Class?

You are a member of the Litigation Class certified by the Court if you fit the following definition: All individuals and entities that purchased Shell Eggs from caged birds in the United States directly from Defendants during the Class Period from 9/24/2004 through 12/31/2008.

Excluded from the Class are Defendants, their co-conspirators, and their respective parents, subsidiaries and affiliates, as well as any government entities. Also excluded from the Class are purchases of “specialty” shell eggs (such as “organic,” “certified organic,” “free range,” “cage free,” “nutritionally enhanced,” or “vegetarian fed”) and purchases of hatching eggs, which are used by poultry breeders to produce breeder stock or growing stock for laying hens or meat.

Persons or entities that fall within the definition of the Litigation Class and do not exclude themselves will be bound by the results of this litigation.

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6. What does it mean to exclude myself from the Litigation Class?

If you are included in the definition of the Litigation Class and you want to sue any of the Non-Settling Defendants (Rose Acre Farms, Inc.; Ohio Fresh Eggs, LLC; and R.W. Sauder, Inc.) separately about any of the claims in this lawsuit, you must exclude yourself from the Litigation Class. If you exclude yourself, you will not be entitled to any money from future distributions if Plaintiffs obtain any money as a result of a trial or from any future settlements with the Non-Settling Defendants.

If you have a pending lawsuit against a Non-Settling Defendant involving the same legal issues in this case, speak to your lawyer in that case immediately. You must exclude yourself from the Litigation Class in order to continue your own lawsuit against one or more of the Non-Settling Defendants.

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7. How do I exclude myself from the Litigation Class?

If you are a member of the Litigation Class and you decide that you want to exclude yourself from the Litigation Class, you must send an “Exclusion Request” by first-class mail postmarked by October 9, 2017 to the following address:

In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation– EXCLUSIONS
c/o GCG, Claims Administrator
P.O. Box 9476
Dublin, OH 43017-4576

If you wish to mail your submission by pre-paid delivery service to be hand-delivered by October 9, 2017, you may send your mail to the following address:

In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation– EXCLUSIONS
c/o GCG, Claims Administrator
1531 Utah Avenue South,
Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98134

Your written request should specify the identity of the party that wishes to be excluded, contact information, and a statement that you wish to be excluded from the Litigation Class.

NOTE: Excluding yourself from the Litigation Class will not exclude you from the MFI Settlement Class. You must separately exclude yourself from the MFI Settlement if you do not want to participate in it.

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8. What happens if I do nothing?

If you do nothing, you will remain a member of the Litigation Class. As a member of Litigation Class, you will be represented by Class Counsel, and you will not be charged out-of-pocket fees or expenses 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 Litigation Class. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

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9. When is the trial and do I have to attend?

A trial date has not yet been scheduled. You should consult the settlement website for updates regarding a trial date, which is subject to change without future notice. You do not have to attend the trial. Class Counsel will present the case for Plaintiffs. You and/or your own attorney are welcome to attend the trial at your own expense.

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10. Who is included in the MFI Settlement Class?

You are a member of MFI Settlement Class if you fit the following definition: All individuals and entities that purchased Shell Eggs (shell eggs from caged birds) in the United States directly from Defendants during the Class Period from 9/24/2004 through 12/31/2008.

Excluded from the Class are Defendants, their co-conspirators, and their respective parents, subsidiaries and affiliates, as well as any government entities. Also excluded from the Class are purchases of “specialty” shell eggs (such as “organic,” “certified organic,” “free range,” “cage free,” “nutritionally enhanced,” or “vegetarian fed”) and purchasers of hatching eggs, which are used by poultry breeders to produce breeder stock or growing stock for laying hens or meat.

Persons or entities that fall within the MFI Settlement Class and do not exclude themselves from that Settlement will be bound by the terms of the Settlement and its release.

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11. What does the MFI Settlement provide?

After engaging in settlement discussions both formally and informally, Plaintiffs and MFI reached a Settlement on December 8, 2016. The MFI settlement is between Plaintiffs and MFI only; it does not affect any of the Non-Settling Defendants against whom this case continues. Pursuant to the terms of the MFI Settlement, Plaintiffs will release MFI from all pending claims. In exchange, MFI has agreed to pay $75 million into a settlement fund to compensate Class Members, and to cooperate with Plaintiffs prior to and at the time of trial of the claims against the Non-Settling Defendants. If Class Members whose combined annual purchases of Shell Eggs from MFI, Non-Settling Defendants, or other settling Defendants over the Class Period equal or exceed a threshold percentage of Total Sales by those Defendants, as agreed to by Plaintiffs and MFI under a separate agreement provided to the Court for in camera review, choose to exclude themselves from the MFI Settlement, MFI has the right to terminate the Settlement.

The full text of the MFI Settlement Agreement is available on the Court Documents Tab.

On June 26, 2017, the Court granted preliminary approval of the MFI Settlement, finding it sufficiently fair, reasonable, and adequate to warrant notifying the Settlement Class. It is the opinion of Class Counsel that the Settlement Agreement with MFI is fair and reasonable and in the best interests of the Class.

The MFI Settlement should not be taken as an admission by MFI of any allegation by Plaintiffs or wrongdoing of any kind. Finally, the Court ordered that Plaintiffs shall provide notice of the MFI Settlement to all members of the Settlement Class who can be identified through reasonable effort.

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12. How will the MFI Settlement Fund be distributed?

The $75 million paid by MFI may be reduced by court-ordered attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses, and the cost of notice and administration of the MFI Settlement, as approved by the Court. The remainder of the MFI Settlement will be distributed on a pro rata basis among the members of the Class 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 in the United States from Defendants as compared to the total purchases of Shell Eggs in the United States from Defendants 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, your recovery will be less than the total amount you paid.

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13. How do I file a Claim Form in the MFI Settlement?

The Claim Form and instructions for filing a proof of claim are included with the Claim Form provided with the notice.

You should carefully read the description of the MFI Settlement Class set forth in the notice to verify that you are a Class Member. Next, you should review your records and confirm that you purchased Shell Eggs from one or more Defendants (or their affiliates) during the relevant time period. A Claim Form for the MFI Settlement 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.

If you previously filed a valid and timely Claim Form in a prior settlement that specifically identified your Shell Egg purchases from Defendants for the years 2005 through 2008, you need not submit a new Claim Form in the MFI Settlement for those particular years. But if you wish to receive credit for 2004 Shell Egg purchases from Defendants, you must submit a new Claim Form specifying purchases from September 24, 2004 through December 31, 2004. You will receive an award based on all of your eligible purchases. If you do not wish to receive an award from the MFI Settlement for Shell Egg Purchases from 2004, or you do not need to change or supplement purchases that were previously included in your prior Claim Form(s), you need not submit a new Claim Form.

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14. What is the difference between excluding myself from the MFI Settlement or objecting to the MFI Settlement?

If you exclude yourself from the MFI Settlement, you will not receive any benefits from it and you cannot object to it.

  • If you want to sue MFI, on your own, about the legal issues in this case, then you must exclude yourself from the settlement with MFI. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue MFI for the claims that the proposed MFI Settlement resolves.
  • If you have a pending lawsuit against MFI involving the same legal issues in this case, speak to your lawyer in that case immediately. You must exclude yourself from the Litigation Class in order to continue your own lawsuit against MFI. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue MFI for the claims that the proposed MFI Settlement resolves.

If you object to the MFI Settlement, you will remain a member of the MFI Settlement Class. Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object to or otherwise comment on any term of the Settlement, including why you think the Court should not approve the MFI Settlement. You may also comment on or object to the Fee Petition. The Court will consider your views.

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15. How do I exclude myself from the MFI Settlement Class?

If you are a member of the MFI Settlement Class and you decide that you want to exclude yourself from the MFI Settlement Class, you must send an “Exclusion Request” by first-class mail postmarked by October 9, 2017 to the following address:

In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation–EXCLUSIONS
c/o GCG, Claims Administrator
P.O. Box 9476
Dublin, OH 43017-4576

If you wish to mail your submission by pre-paid delivery service to be hand-delivered by October 9, 2017, you may send your mail to the following address:

In re Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation–EXCLUSIONS
c/o GCG, Claims Administrator
1531 Utah Avenue South,
Suite 600
Seattle, WA 98134

Your written request should specify the identity of the party that has chosen to be excluded, contact information, and a statement that you wish to be excluded from the MFI Settlement Class.

NOTE: Excluding yourself from the MFI Settlement Class will not exclude you from the Litigation Class; such exclusion must be done independently.

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16. How do I object to the proposed MFI Settlement?

In order for the Court to consider your objection to the MFI Settlement (or the Fee Petition), your objection must be sent by first-class mail postmarked by, or pre-paid delivery service to be hand-delivered by October 9, 2017, to each of the following:

THE COURT
United States District Court
James A. Byrne Federal
Courthouse
Office of the Clerk of the Court
601 Market Street, Room 2609
Philadelphia, PA 19106-179
FOR THE PLAINTIFFS
Mindee J. Reuben
LITE DEPALMA GREENBERG LLC
1835 Walnut Street, Suite 2700
Philadelphia, PA 19103
FOR DEFENDANT MFI
Carrie C. Mahan
WEIL, GOTSCHAL & MANGES LLP
1300 Eye Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

Your objection(s) must be in writing and must provide evidence of your membership in the MFI Settlement Class. The written objection should state the precise reason or reasons for the objection(s), including any legal support you wish to bring to the Court’s attention and any evidence you wish to introduce in support of the objection. You may, but need not, file the objection(s) through an attorney. You are responsible for paying your attorney.

If you are a member of the MFI Settlement Class, you have the right to voice your objection to the Settlement at the Fairness Hearing. In order to do so, you must follow all instructions for objecting in writing (as stated above). You may object in person and/or through an attorney. You are responsible for paying your attorney and any costs related to your or your attorney’s attendance at the hearing. You need not attend the Fairness Hearing in order for the Court to consider your objection.

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17. What happens if I do nothing?

If you do nothing, you will remain a member of the MFI Settlement Class. As a member of MFI Settlement Class, you will be represented by Class Counsel, and you will not be charged fees or expenses for the services of such counsel and any other class counsel. Rather, counsel will be paid, if at all and as allowed by the Court, from the MFI Settlement Fund. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. (back to top)

18. What is the effect of the Court’s final approval of the MFI Settlement?

If the Court grants final approval and you do not exclude yourself from it, the MFI Settlement will be binding upon you and all other members of the Settlement Class. By remaining a part of the MFI Settlement, if approved, you will give up any claims against MFI relating to the claims made or which could have been made in this lawsuit. By remaining a part of the Settlement, you will retain all claims against all other remaining Defendants, named and unnamed.

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19. When is the final Fairness Hearing?

The Court has scheduled a final “Fairness Hearing” at 10:00 am on November 6, 2017 at the following address:

United States District Court
James A. Byrne Federal Courthouse
601 Market Street
Courtroom 10B
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1797

The purpose of the Fairness Hearing is to determine whether the MFI Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and whether the Court should enter judgment granting final approval of the Settlement. You do not need to attend this hearing. You or your own lawyer may attend the hearing if you wish, at your own expense. Please note that the Court may choose to change the date and/or time of the Fairness Hearing without further notice of any kind. Class Members are advised to check www.eggproductssettlement.com for updates.

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