If you purchased any Pork product in the United States from January 1, 2009, through May 3, 2021, for business use in commercial food preparation, a class action settlement may affect your rights.

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A settlement has been reached in a class action antitrust lawsuit filed on behalf of Commercial and Institutional Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs with Defendants JBS USA Food Company, JBS USA Food Company Holdings, Swift Pork Company, and related or affiliated entities (“JBS” or “Settling Defendants”). The Settlement requires JBS to pay $12,750,000. There will be no payments to the Settlement Class at this time.  You will be notified later of an opportunity to file a claim. Before any money is paid, the Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement.

The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota authorized this notice. This Court ordered notice may affect your rights. Please read this notice carefully.

WHO IS INCLUDED?

For settlement purposes, members of the Settlement Class are defined as all entities who indirectly purchased Pork from Defendants or co-conspirators or their respective subsidiaries or affiliates in the United States from January 1, 2009, to May 3, 2021, for their own business use in commercial food preparation.

Only Settlement Class members in the following jurisdictions are eligible to potentially recover money from the settlement: Arkansas, Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and/or Wisconsin.

For purposes of the Settlement, “Pork” means porcine or swine products processed, produced or sold by JBS, or by any of the Defendants or their co-conspirators, including but not limited to: primals (including but not limited to loins, shoulders, picnics, butts, ribs, bellies, hams, or legs), trim or sub-primal products (including but not limited to backloins, tenderloins, backribs, boneless loins, boneless sirloins, riblets, chef’s prime, prime ribs, brisket, skirt, cushion, ground meats, sirloin tip roast, or hocks), further processed and value added porcine products (including, but not limited to bacon, sausage, lunch meats, further processed ham, or jerky products), offal or variety products (including, but not limited to hearts, tongues, livers, head products, spleens, kidneys, feet, stomach, bladder, uterus, snoot, ears, tail, brisket bone, intestines, jowls, neck bones or other bones, skin, lungs, glands, hair, or pet food ingredients), rendered product and byproducts (including, but not limited to, lard, grease, meat meal, bone meal, blood meal, or blood plasma), casings (including, but not limited to, mucosa), and carcasses.

In addition to JBS, the Defendants and alleged co-conspirators in this lawsuit are Clemens Food Group, LLC, The Clemens Family Corporation, Hormel Foods Corporation, Seaboard Foods LLC, Smithfield Foods, Inc., Triumph Foods, LLC, Tyson Foods, Inc., Tyson Prepared Foods, Inc., Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., and Agri Stats, Inc.

If you are not sure you are included, you can get more information, including a detailed notice, at www.PorkCommercialCase.com or by calling toll-free 1-855-867-0738.

WHAT IS THIS LAWSUIT ABOUT?

Commercial and Institutional Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs allege that Defendants and their co-conspirators conspired and combined to fix, raise, maintain, and stabilize the price of Pork, as of January 1, 2009, with the intent and expected result of increasing prices of Pork in the United States, in violation of federal antitrust laws and various state antitrust, consumer protection and unfair trade practices, and unjust enrichment laws. JBS denies it did anything wrong. The Court did not decide which side was right, but both sides agreed to the Settlement to resolve the case and get benefits to the Settlement Class. The case is still proceeding on behalf of the Commercial and Institutional Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs against other Defendants who may be subject to separate settlements, judgments, or class certification orders.

WHAT DOES THE SETTLEMENT PROVIDE?

The Settlement Agreement provides that JBS will pay $12,750,000 to resolve all Settlement Class members’ claims against JBS for the Released Claims (as defined in the Settlement Agreement). In addition to this monetary benefit, JBS has also agreed to provide specified cooperation in the Commercial and Institutional Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs’ continued prosecution of the litigation. No money will be distributed at this time. Settlement Class Counsel will continue to pursue the lawsuit against the other Defendants. Settlement Class Counsel may request that the Court award attorneys’ fees, permit the reimbursement of certain litigation costs and expenses, set aside funds for future expenses, and grant the class representatives service awards. If such request is made at this time, it will be filed at least fourteen days before the objection deadline and posted on the website www.PorkCommercialCase.com at that time. Settlement Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees not to exceed one third of the Settlement Fund and may ask to be reimbursed for costs not to exceed $350,000. All Settlement funds that remain after payment of the Court ordered attorneys’ fees, costs, expenses, and service awards will be distributed at the conclusion of the lawsuit or as ordered by the Court. You will be notified later, if and when there is an opportunity to make a claim to receive a payment.

WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS AND OPTIONS?

You do not need to take any action to remain a member of the Settlement Class and be bound by the Settlement Agreement. As a Settlement Class member, you may be able to participate in (or exclude yourself from) any future settlements or judgments obtained by Commercial and Institutional Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs against other Defendants in the case.

If you do not want to be legally bound by the Settlement Agreement, you must exclude yourself.  Your exclusion request must be postmarked by September 11, 2021, or you will not be able to sue or continue to sue Settling Defendants for the Released Claims (as defined in the Settlement Agreement). If you exclude yourself, you cannot get money from the Settlement. If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you may object to the Settlement.  Your objection must be postmarked by September 11, 2021. The detailed notice explains how to exclude yourself or object. Details may also be found on the FAQs page of the Settlement website.

While this Settlement is only with Settling Defendants at this time, the Settlement Class includes persons who purchased Pork products (as defined in the Settlement Agreement) from any of the Defendants or their co-conspirators. If you are a member of the Settlement Class and do not exclude yourself, you may be eligible to participate in (or exclude yourself from) any additional settlements which may arise with any other Defendants in the case.

The Court will hold a hearing in this case In re Pork Antitrust Litigation (Commercial and Institutional Indirect Purchaser Actions), Case No. 0:18-cv-01776 (D. Minn.) on November 3, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., to consider whether to approve the Settlement Agreement. You may ask to speak at the hearing, but you do not have to.

This notice is a summary only. You can find more details about the Settlement at www.PorkCommercialCase.com or by calling toll-free 1-855-867-0738. Please do not contact the Court.

SOURCE United States District Court for the District of Minnesota