Iowa School Food Settlement
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Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What is this lawsuit about?
  2. How can I change my address?
  3. What is the injunctive relief under the IEC settlement?
  4. Is the IEC or IAEP paying any money?
  5. Can I receive money from the IEC settlement?
  6. Is Martin Brothers a party to any injunctive relief?
  7. Is Martin Brothers paying any money?
  8. Can I receive money from the Martin Brothers settlement?
  9. How do I know if I am a Settlement Class Member?
  10. What schools are eligible?
  11. Can I be excluded from the Settlement?
  12. Do I have a lawyer in this case and how will they be paid?
  13. Can I object to the Settlements?
  14. When is the Fairness Hearing?
  15. What happens if I do nothing at all?
  16. How can I get more information on the proposed settlement with the IEC and IAEP and the proposed settlement with Martin Brothers?

 



  1. What is this lawsuit about?

    The class action case involved in this Settlement is SMITH v.MARTIN BROTHERS DISTRIBUTINGCOMPANY, INC., IOWA EDUCATORS CORPORATION d/b/a IOWA EDUCATORS CONSORTIUM, and THE IOWA ASSOCIATION FOR EDUCATIONAL PURCHASING, Case No. CVCV036641.

    Plaintiffs claim that, since the year 2000, the IEC and/or IAEP, together with Martin Brothers, have engaged in a conspiracy to restrain competition in the market for retail sale of food at schools in Iowa and that Martin Brothers has attempted to monopolize that market in violation of Iowa antitrust laws. Plaintiffs also claim the alleged conduct has violated the common laws of civil conspiracy and unjust enrichment. Plaintiffs claim that the alleged misconduct has caused Iowa families whose children attended schools that were members of the IEC to pay higher prices for food at Iowa schools than they would have paid absent the alleged misconduct. Plaintiffs have sought injunctive relief to change the process by which the IEC and IAEP award contracts to food distributors to service Iowa schools, as well to recover damages that they allege the Defendants' conduct caused, the amounts by which the Defendants allegedly were unjustly enriched, and exemplary damages, as well as attorneys' fees and costs. The Court has not yet resolved the merits of the lawsuit, or determined whether any of the Plaintiffs' contentions are true. Defendants deny that the Plaintiffs' claims are true and deny that they did anything wrong.

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  2. How can I change my address?

    It is your responsibility to inform the Settlement Administrator if you change addresses to receive your settlement benefit. To change your address, be sure to include your Full Name, previous and current address, and Claim ID and write to the Settlement Administrator at info@iowafoodsettlement.com or to: 

    IOWA SCHOOL FOOD LITIGATION SETTLEMENT

    c/o Gilardi & Co. LLC

    P.O. Box 8060

    San Rafael, CA 94912-8060

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  3. What is the injunctive relief under the IEC settlement?

    The IEC and IAEP have agreed to an injunction order to be entered by the Court. To facilitate the IAEP's function as the food purchasing cooperative for member schools, the injunction order will require the IAEP to comply with the requirements detailed in the Notice for a period of six (6) years from the date of the entry of the order.

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  4. Is the IEC or IAEP paying any money?

    Neither the IEC nor the IAEP has or maintains significant cash reserves and neither has the financial reserves to withstand a substantial monetary judgment. However, they do maintain limited insurance and have the ability to agree to injunctive relief. Upon preliminary approval of the settlement, the IEC and IAEP, through their insurer, paid $150,000 into an escrow fund to cover certain costs, including one half of the costs of Notice to the Class, payment of a portion of Class Counsel's attorneys' fees and expenses, and incentive awards to Settlement Class Representatives.

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  5. Can I receive money from the IEC settlement?

    You will not receive any money from the settlement with the IEC (but may receive money from the settlement with Martin Brothers as further described later). You are entitled to and will be bound by the terms of equitable and injunctive relief set forth in the IEC Settlement Agreement and Injunction Order and you shall not be permitted to opt out of the Injunctive Relief Settlement Class.

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  6. Is Martin Brothers a party to any injunctive relief?

    The IEC and IAEP have agreed to the injunctive relief described in the Notice. Martin Brothers is not a party to any injunctive relief.   

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  7. Is Martin Brothers paying any money?

    Martin Brothers has agreed to pay $1,925,000 to cover the claims of Settlement Class Members, Plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and costs, and Plaintiffs' incentive awards. Martin Brothers has also agreed to separately pay half of the costs to provide notice to the Class and for implementing and administering the Settlement. 

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  8. Can I receive money from the Martin Brothers settlement?

    You may receive money from the Martin Brothers Settlement if you submit a valid, sworn and timely claim. You may be entitled to a payment in the amount of $3.50 for each year that you or each student who is your dependent attended an IEC-Member School between 2000 and August 1, 2014, subject to a $50 cap per student and any pro rata reduction if the number of valid claims exceeds the settlement fund. The claim form may be submitted online here. Claims must be submitted by September 30, 2014. If your claim is submitted via email or on-line, it will be considered submitted when received. If your claim is submitted via U.S. mail, it must be postmarked by September 30, 2014. Mailed claims may be sent to:

    IOWA SCHOOL FOOD LITIGATION SETTLEMENT

    c/o Gilardi & Co. LLC

    P.O. Box 8060

    San Rafael, CA 94912-8060

    Emailed claims may be sent to info@IowaSchoolFoodSettlement.com.

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  9. How do I know if I am a Settlement Class Member?

    You are a member of the Settlement Class if you paid for food, between January 1, 2000 and August 1st, 2014, at an Iowa-based school that, at the time of payment, (1) was a member of the Iowa Educators Corporation (IEC) or The Iowa Association for Educational Purchasing (IAEP), and (2) had one or more grades from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. To determine whether the school where you paid for food purchases was a member of the IEC or IAEP, please see this page for the list of schools or call the Settlement Administrator. Excluded from the Settlement Class are: the IEC, the IAEP, and Martin Brothers and each of their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, and parents; each of the respective directors, officers, employees, legal representatives, successors, and assigns of the IEC, the IAEP, and Martin Brothers and their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, and parents; persons who purchased for purposes of resale; and any Judge to whom the action is assigned and all members of his or her immediate family.

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  10. What schools are eligible?

    Please visit this page for a list of schools.

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  11. Can I be excluded from the Settlement?

    You may be excluded from the Martin Brothers Settlement, but you may not be excluded from the IEC Settlement. For the IEC Settlement, Settlement Class Members shall be entitled to and will be bound by the terms of equitable and injunctive relief set forth in the IEC Settlement Agreement and Injunction Order and shall not be permitted to opt out of the Settlement Class. To opt out of the Martin Brothers settlement, please send your opt out request by September 15, 2014 to:

    IOWA SCHOOL FOOD LITIGATION SETTLEMENT

    c/o Gilardi & Co. LLC

    P.O. Box 6002

    Larkspur, CA 94977-6002

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  12. Do I have a lawyer in this case and how will they be paid?

    The Court appointed the following lawyers to represent the Settlement Class:

    Elizabeth A. Fegan, Esq.

    HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP (Co-Lead Counsel)

    1144 West Lake Street, Suite 400

    Oak Park, IL 60301-1043

    and

    J. Barton Goplerud

    HUDSON MALLANEY SHINDLER & ANDERSON P.C. (Co-Lead and Liaison Counsel)

    5015 Grand Ridge Drive, #100

    West Des Moines, IA 50265

    These individuals and their law firms are referred to as Class Counsel. They are experienced in handling class actions. More information about these law firms, their practices, and their lawyers' experience is available at www.hbsslaw.com and www.hudsonlaw.net. You will not be personally charged for the services of Class Counsel in litigating these cases. You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. But, if you want your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. You have the right to enter an appearance in the case through your lawyer if you wish.

    To date, Class Counsel have not been paid any attorneys' fees. In compensation for their time and risk in prosecuting the litigation on a wholly contingent fee basis, Class Counsel will petition the Court for an award of attorneys' fees and for reimbursement of litigation expenses incurred. After this motion is filed with the Court, a copy of this motion will be available by calling the Settlement Administrator and on the settlement website. Class Counsel will request an award of attorneys' fees and expenses that will not exceed $130,000 from the IEC settlement and will not exceed one-third of the Martin Brothers settlement fund plus actual out-of-pocket expenses. Class Counsel will also petition the Court to provide service awards to Settlement Class Representatives in the amount of $3,500 each.

    Any attorneys' fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses will be awarded only as approved by the Court in amounts determined to be fair and reasonable.

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  13. Can I object to the Settlements?

    If you are a member of the Settlement Class, you have the option to object to: (1) the proposed settlement with the IEC or the proposed settlement with Martin Brothers; (2) Class Counsel's request for an award of attorney's fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses; and/or (3) Class Counsel's request for service awards for Settlement Class Representatives. Your written objection to one or more of these matters must be received by the Court no later than October 3, 2014.  Details on how to object are contained within the Notice.

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  14. When is the Fairness Hearing?

    The Iowa District Court for Dallas County will hold a hearing on November 4, 2014 at 1:30 p.m., at the Dallas County Courthouse, 801 Court Street, Adel, Iowa 50003, for the purpose of determining whether the proposed settlements with the IEC and IAEP and with Martin Brothers should be approved as fair, adequate and reasonable. The proposed settlements are contingent upon the Court's final approval of them. This hearing is known as the Fairness Hearing. The hearing may be rescheduled without further announcement.

    You do not have to attend the hearing. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. If you send a written objection, you do not have to attend the hearing to discuss it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time, following the instructions in the Notice, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend.

    You may attend the hearing at your own expense. You may speak at the hearing only if you have submitted your objection as provided in the Notice and have stated in your objection letter that you wish to be heard at the Fairness Hearing.

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  15. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you are a member of the Settlement Class and you do nothing, you will be bound by the terms of both settlements and will receive no compensation under the Martin Brothers Settlement.

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  16. How can I get more information on the proposed settlement with the IEC and IAEP and the proposed settlement with Martin Brothers?

    You may obtain copies of the Settlement Agreement and other documents here.

    The Settlement Agreements are also on file with the Clerk of the Court. 

    Please do not contact the Clerk of the Court or the Judge. Instead, please direct any inquiries to any of the Class Counsel or contact the Settlement Administrator.

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