If you are a person or entity in the United States who sold raw, harvested runner peanuts to any of the Defendants, their subsidiaries or joint-ventures, from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2019, your rights may be affected by a recent court decision preliminarily approving a settlement with the remaining Defendant.
July 13, 2021 — Claim Deadline
July 13, 2021 — Objection Deadline
July 26, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. — Fairness Hearing
The Court entered the Order of Final Approval on July 27, 2021. The Court entered the Order Authorizing Distribution of Settlement Fund on November 24, 2021. As of the end of the 2021 calendar year, the Settlement Administrator is soliciting information necessary to finalize the distribution of the Settlement Fund to approved claimants.
Please be advised that the Court granted final approval to the Settlements on July 27, 2021. To view a copy of the Order click here.
- This litigation is pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (“Court”) in an action captioned In Re Peanut Farmers Antitrust Litigation, No. 2:19-cv-00463 (E.D. Va.) (the “Action”), in which Plaintiffs have alleged, among other things, that Defendants Golden Peanut Company LLC (“Golden Peanut”), Birdsong Corporation (“Birdsong”), and Olam Peanut Shelling Company, Inc. (“Olam”) entered into a conspiracy to pay depressed prices to farmers for runner peanuts during the Class Period, in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1 (the “Claims”). Defendants have denied and continue to deny all of Plaintiffs’ Claims and have asserted numerous defenses to those Claims.
- The Court previously authorized Notice pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure regarding its determination to certify the following Class: All persons or entities in the United States who sold raw, harvested runner peanuts to any of the Defendants, their subsidiaries or joint-ventures, from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2019 (the “Class Period”). Specifically excluded from this Class are the Defendants; the officers, directors or employees of any Defendant; any entity in which any Defendant has a controlling interest; and any affiliate, legal representative, heir or assign of any Defendant.
- The deadline to exclude yourself from that Class was March 13, 2021. If you did not exclude yourself by that date, you are a member of the Class.
- The Notice is given pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and a Court Order to inform you of a hearing before the Court to consider: (1) the proposed settlement with Golden Peanut in the amount of $45,000,000 (“Golden Peanut Settlement”) (2) Class Counsel’s request for attorney’s fees, unreimbursed litigation costs and expenses, and service awards for the Class Representatives, and (3) the proposed plan of distribution of settlement funds to Class Members.
- On April 5, 2021, the Court finally approved settlements with Olam and Birdsong totaling $57,750,000. The Golden Peanut Settlement, along with the Olam and Birdsong settlements (collectively, “Settlements”), total $102,750,000 (“Settlement Fund”), which will be distributed to Class Members who file valid Claims in accordance with a distribution plan approved by the Court. Additional information regarding the Settlements, the Fairness Hearing, the proposed distribution plan, and your rights to share in any distribution is discussed below.
- A portion of the Settlement Fund is being used by the Settlement Administrator to administer the Notice Program. The remainder of the Settlement Fund will remain available for distribution to Class Members, any future notice and administration costs, and attorneys’ fees, litigation expenses, and service awards that the Court awards to Plaintiffs. Please consult this website regularly for updates on the case and these Settlements.
- Please read the notice carefully. Your legal rights will be affected.
|SUMMARY OF YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS||DEADLINE|
OBJECT AND/OR ATTEND A HEARING
|Even if you did not previously exclude yourself from the Class, you still have the right to file a written objection to the Golden Peanut Settlement, Class Counsel’s request for attorney’s fees, unreimbursed litigation costs and expenses, and service awards for the Class Representatives, and the proposed plan of distribution.||JULY 13, 2021|
FILE A CLAIM
|If you did not exclude yourself from the Class, you have the right to file a claim to share in the distribution of the Settlement Fund.||JULY 13, 2021|
- Your rights and options—and the deadlines to exercise them—are explained in the Notice.
- The Court in charge of this Action will decide whether to finally approve the Golden Peanut Settlement. Payments to Class Members will be made if the Court finally approves the Golden Peanut Settlement and approves the distribution plan, after any appeals are resolved.