Hausfeld filed the first lawsuit in this consolidated litigation in August of 2015, seeking relief on behalf of a class of direct purchasers. Other civil cases followed, including two indirect purchaser class cases and various individual actions. The civil cases follow a criminal antitrust investigation being prosecuted by the United States Department of Justice, which has obtained guilty pleas from Bumble Bee and two of its executives, as well as StarKist and one of its top sales executives. Chicken of the Sea has confirmed that it is the leniency applicant and is cooperating with the DOJ’s investigation.
Discovery in the case is nearly complete, and in 2018, Hausfeld filed a motion to certify the proposed class of direct purchasers. The Court held a three-day evidentiary hearing on that motion and other class certification motions in January of 2019, featuring testimony from the parties’ expert economists. On July 30, 2019, the Honorable District Judge Janis L. Sammartino of the Southern District of California granted class certification to a class of direct purchasers and appointed Hausfeld as class counsel. No trial date has yet been set.
If you have questions about the pending litigation, please contact any of the related lawyers listed below.