In a class action, one or more people or businesses, called Class Representatives, sue on behalf of themselves and all others who have similar claims. Everyone who has claims similar to the Class Representatives are Class Members, except for those who are excluded or who exclude themselves from the class (see Question No. 13).
The Court has allowed, or certified, five Classes in this class action lawsuit. Judge Ann D. Montgomery of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota is overseeing this class action. The lawsuit is known as In re Wholesale Grocery Products Antitrust Litigation, Civil No. 09-md-02090-ADM-TNL.
The Court decided that this lawsuit can proceed as a class action because it meets the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, which governs class actions in federal courts. Specifically, the Court found that:
- There are many customers whose interests will be affected by this lawsuit;
- There are legal questions and facts that are common to them all;
- The Class Representatives’ claims are typical of the claims of the rest of the Class;
- The Class Representatives and the lawyers representing the Class will fairly and adequately represent the Class’ interests;
- The common legal questions and facts predominate over questions that affect only individual Class Members; and
- Proceeding as a class action is more efficient than several individual lawsuits.
More information can be found in the Court’s Memorandum Opinion and Order, dated September 7, 2016, available on the Important Documents page, or on the Court’s website at http://www.mnd.uscourts.gov/MDL-Wholesale/.