Cal-Maine settles anti-trust lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania

cal-maineJACKSON — Egg producer Cal-Maine Foods Inc. said today that it agreed to settle egg antitrust class action claims for $28 million pretax.

The claims were filed in Pennsylvania federal court. Class members can opt in or out of the settlement.

The class-action lawsuit alleges that Cal-Maine and some producers of shell eggs and egg products conspired to decrease the supply of eggs, causing direct purchasers to pay more than needed for eggs.

Cal-Maine Foods said it believes its conduct has been lawful, and it settled to avoid the distraction and expense of a drawn-out suit.

The terms of the settlement have to be approved by the court.

The Jackson, Miss., company said it will book a fiscal fourth-quarter charge of $17 million, or 71 cents per basic share.

Cal-Maine added that the settlement doesn’t include class actions filed on behalf of indirect purchasers or non-class action cases about price fixing. The company said it will “continue to vigorously defend” against these cases.

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