Egg Price-Fixing Plaintiffs Cannot Revive Cartel Claims

Class action plaintiffs who alleged an industrywide scheme to fix egg prices through “animal welfare” measures failed to convince the full Third Circuit to revive their case Monday, July 20, after a three-judge panel ruled against them last month.

The one-page order declining to rehear the case didn’t offer any reasoning, but it implicitly rejected the plaintiffs’ argument that the ruling represented “a revolutionary change in antitrust law.” No judge voted in favor of a redo, reported Bloomberg.

On December 12, 2019, in a case brought by 12 supermarkets, a Pennsylvania federal jury returned a verdict rejecting the supermarkets’ claims of conspiracy to reduce egg supply.

The plaintiffs were some of the largest grocery store chains in the United States, including Kroger and Giant Eagle, that had declined to join the previous class action case. Plaintiffs alleged Rose Acre Farms and two industry groups conspired with others in order to raise shell egg prices, including that the defendants created an animal-welfare program as a pretext to raise egg prices. After only a day and a half of deliberation, the jury found the plaintiffs failed to prove there was any conspiracy.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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