Most Iowa school districts, including Vinton-Shellsburg, Benton Community and Union, are included in a recently-announced class action settlement involving school lunch prices.

Families with children who attended schools and ate lunch via the school lunch program are entitled to a $3.50 per year per child refund, with a maximum of $50 per child.

Click HERE to file a claim, or get more information.

More information is also below:

WHAT IS THIS LAWSUIT ABOUT?

Plaintiffs Duane Smith of 432 N. 11th Pl., Adel, IA 50003, and Brooke Smith of 16330 O Ave., Bouton, IA 50039, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, in a lawsuit pending in the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Case No. CVCV036641, claim that Iowa Educators Corporation ("IEC"), its successor, The Iowa Association for Educational Purchasing ("IAEP"), and Martin Brothers Distributing Company, Inc. ("Martin Brothers"), conspired to restrain competition in the market for the retail sale of food at schools in Iowa and that Martin Brothers attempted to monopolize that market in violation of Iowa antitrust laws. Among other things, Plaintiffs seek a determination that the case may be maintained as a class action; a declaration that the Plaintiffs be the representative of the class and that their counsel be counsel for the class; a declaration of the unlawfulness of the alleged conduct, in violation of the Iowa antitrust laws and the common laws of civil conspiracy and unjust enrichment; recovery of actual and exemplary damages; recovery of the amounts by which the Defendants allegedly were unjustly enriched; injunction against the continuation of the alleged illegal activities; and recovery of the Plaintiffs' and the class' costs of suit including reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses.

Defendants deny they did anything wrong. Defendants assert that the bidding for school food service distribution was fair and appropriate and that they have reached a settlement to avoid the costs and delays associated with litigation. The Court has not decided who is right and who is wrong.

WHAT ARE THE TERMS OF THE SETTLEMENTS?

Martin Brothers has agreed to pay $1,925,000 to pay the claims of Class Members and to cover attorneys' fees and costs and incentive awards for the Class Representatives, plus will separately pay one half of the actual costs of Notice to the Class and the full costs of administering the Settlement. Class Members may receive up to $3.50 per student per year that they attended an IEC-member school, up to a maximum of $50.00 per student. While neither the IEC nor IAEP maintains cash reserves to fund a substantial judgment, the IEC and IAEP have separately agreed to injunctive relief that requires changes to the IAEP contract bidding process as well as requires information regarding pricing to be made publicly available. Plaintiffs' claims against Defendants are released with the exception of claims for personal injury, product liability or breach of warranty. The IEC and IAEP, through their insurer, will also make payments totaling $150,000 to cover certain costs, including one half of the actual costs of Notice to the Class, a portion of attorneys' fees and costs, and incentive awards. Each of the settlements is contingent on the Court's final approval of that proposed settlement. For more details, call or write to the Settlement Administrator here.



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