Judge accepts Michael Foods settlement

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A federal judge has accepted Michael Foods’ $75 million settlement in a case where the egg company was named in a class-action lawsuit.

Michael Foods, a subsidiary of Post Holdings, agreed to the settlement in December 2017, but the settlement at the time still needed to be formally documented and approved by the court system. On November 17, U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, gave final approval to the settlement, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“The proposed settlement agreement is fair, reasonable and adequate,” the judge wrote in an opinion. “Accordingly, the court grants plaintiff’s motion for final approval of the class action settlement with defendant Michael Foods.”

The lawsuit alleged that the leading egg producers in the United States conspired to use new welfare standards that included uniform hen spacing and housing standards to artificially reduce egg supply and raise egg prices.

Michael Foods and Post Holdings agreed to settle, but stated that the settlement is not an admission of guilt.

“While we remain confident that our conduct has at all times been lawful and entirely appropriate, we believe this settlement is in the best interest of our shareholders, employees, customers and consumers because it effectively eliminates the distraction, expense and exposure of this complex litigation,” Post Holdings CEO Robert V. Vitale stated when the settlement was proposed.

Other egg companies settle

Michael Foods, which is the seventh largest egg company in the United States and the tenth largest egg company in the world, is not the only company to offer to settle in the case.

Other companies to agree to settlements include Cal-Maine Foods, National Food Corp., Midwest Poultry Services, NuCal Foods and Hillandale Farms. United Egg Producers and U.S. Egg Marketers have also agreed to settlements.

Michael Foods, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, had a flock of 12.96 million hens in 2016.

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