Hagens Berman Settles Class-Action Lawsuit against Martin Brothers Distributing and the Iowa Association for Educational Purchasing

Parents Eligible for Refunds Due to Settlement in Case Alleging Price Fixing in School Lunch Contracts Statewide


SEATTLE – Attorney Elizabeth A. Fegan, managing partner of the Chicago office of Seattle-based Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, a national law firm, has settled a class-action lawsuit on behalf of thousands of Iowa families who participated in school lunch programs. The Iowa School Food Settlement affects private and public schools all over the state. More than 22,572 claims have been filed covering 47,614 students since it was announced Sept. 2.

The lawsuit claimed that since 2000 Martin Brothers Distributing and the Iowa Association for Educational Purchasing collaborated to fix prices and reduce competition in school lunch contracts statewide. The result was lunches priced higher than they otherwise would have been.

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but we certainly feel our kids deserve better than an overpriced lunch,” Fegan said. “Many families struggle every day to feed their kids a nutritious meal. This settlement provides refunds to families for lunch overcharges, plus ensures that school food contracts are subject to competitive bidding going forward.”

As part of the settlement, Martin Brothers Distributing will pay $1,925,000 to cover claims from parents who purchased school lunches at selected schools from Jan. 2000 through Aug. 2014, as well as certain costs and fees of the litigation. Families are eligible to receive $3.50 per student per year, up to $50 per student. Claims must be submitted by September 30, 2014. Families may email info@IowaSchoolFoodSettlement.com.

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About Hagens Berman
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in nine cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List seven times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.

Ashley Klann

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