SOURCE: Milberg LLP

May 02, 2011 12:26 ET

Milberg LLP Announces the Filing of an Antitrust Class Action on Behalf of Consumers of Potatoes

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 2, 2011) - Milberg LLP has filed a class action lawsuit alleging that consumers were overcharged on their purchases of potatoes dating back to 2004 through the present. The complaint alleges that the defendants, an alleged cartel consisting of among the largest potato growers, cooperatives, processors and licensors, violated federal and state antitrust laws by having entered into an illegal scheme to restrict output and raise prices for potatoes. The suit covers consumers in Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. In December 2010, the Court hearing the case appointed Milberg LLP as interim co-lead counsel.

According to the complaint, defendants, who have been publicly called the "potato cartel" and control 80% of the United States potato supply, conspired to increase prices for fresh and process potatoes in the United States starting in 2004 by reducing the potatoes grown or available for consumer markets. Defendants' actions effectively reduced competition in the markets for fresh and process potatoes throughout North America.

The defendants in the action include: United Potato Growers of America, Inc., United Potato Growers of Idaho, Inc., United II Potato Growers of Idaho, Inc., United Potato Growers of Canada, Wada Farms, Inc., Wada Farms Potatoes, Inc., Wada-Van Orden Potatoes, Inc., Albert Wada, Blaine Larsen Farms, Inc., Blaine Larsen, Potandon Produce LLC, Cornelison Farms, Inc., Keith Cornelison, Michael Cranney d/b/a Cranney Farms, Snake River Plains Potatoes, Inc., Driscoll Potatoes, Inc., Lance Funk d/b/a Lance Funk Farms, Rigby Produce, Inc., Pleasant Valley Potato, Inc., Raybould Brothers Farms LLC, RD Offutt Co., Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc., Dole Food Company, Inc., and Idahoan Foods LLC.

The action is part of a multi-district litigation captioned In Re Fresh and Process Potatoes Antitrust Litigation pending in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho and is numbered 4:10-md-02186-BLW.

This press release is intended as a broad summary of the 105 page complaint, which is available from the Court and can be viewed on Milberg LLP's website at www.milberg.com.

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions regarding the lawsuit, please contact the following:

Contact Information

  • Peter Safirstein, Esq.
    Milberg LLP
    One Pennsylvania Plaza, 48th Floor
    New York, NY 10119-0165
    Phone number: 800-320-5081
    Email: contactus@milberg.com

    Co-Lead Counsel for the Plaintiff

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