PHILADELPHIA (CN) – A federal judge gave final approval to a $25 million settlement with Land O’ Lakes over an alleged conspiracy to fix the price of eggs in the United States.
In addition to the $25 million payment, Land O’ Lakes, its subsidiary Moark LLC, and Moark subsidiary Norco Ranch agreed to help the plaintiffs — grocery stores, food manufacturers, restaurants and other businesses who bought eggs from some of the nation’s largest egg suppliers — litigate their case against the remaining defendants by providing documents and making employees available for interviews.
Plaintiffs have accused egg producers and trade groups of participating in a supply-management conspiracy to keep egg prices in America high by reducing egg production.
As part of that conspiracy, defendants coordinated the disposal of hens and exported eggs abroad at a loss, plaintiffs say.
A host of cases from around the country lodging similar accusations were consolidated before U.S. District Judge Gene Pratter in 2008 and 2009.
Last week, Judge Pratter found the Land O’ Lakes settlement fair, noting that “the $25 million settlement amount and Moark’s cooperation confer[s] real and substantial benefits upon the class.”