Cases

The attorneys at Weinstein Kitchenoff & Asher are experienced litigators in a variety of class actions (including antitrust, consumer protection, and securities fraud/derivatives matters) as well as complex business and commercial litigation, whistleblower actions and False Claims Act litigation.

Here are representative samples of cases and settlements our firm has handled:

  • Egg Products Antitrust Litigation

    WKA is co-lead counsel for direct purchasers of fresh and processed egg products who allege that an industry-wide price fixing conspiracy has artificially raised the price of shell eggs and egg products over the past several years.

    The complaint alleges that a cartel of egg producers, acting through the auspices of the principal industry trade groups, engaged in an unlawful scheme to artificially inflate prices of eggs and egg products by restricting the supply of both laying hens and eggs across the country.

    WKA has been appointed by the Court to serve as both liaison counsel and as one of four co-lead firms responsible for managing this litigation on behalf of a putative class of direct purchasers of eggs.  As of April 2014, settlements in the amount of $56.5 million had been reached with several defendants.  Class certification briefing begins on May 30, 2014.

    If you have questions about this case, please contact Steven Asher, email: asher@wka-law.com; Mindee Reuben, email: reuben@wka-law.com; or Jeremy Spiegel, email:spiegel@wka-law.com.

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  • Potatoes Antitrust Litigation

    WKA was appointed to the Executive Committee of a class of direct purchasers of fresh and processed potatoes bringing claims against potato growers, their cooperatives, processors, and packers, who violated federal antitrust laws by conspiring to manipulate the price of fresh potatoes.

    The case, In re Fresh and Process Potatoes Antitrust Litigation, is pending before Judge Winmill in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho.

    The complaint alleges that, beginning in 2004, potato growers formed cooperatives for the sole purpose of fixing potato prices by, among other conduct, agreeing to various production restrictions that suppressed the supply of fresh potatoes and increased prices.

    The co-ops and their members imposed penalties on potato-grower members that did not comply with the planting and related restrictions, and operated a potato dehydration enterprise to divert fresh potatoes into processing. Potato packers involved in the conspiracy imposed “shipping holidays,” during which their operations would shut down in order to reduce the flow of fresh potatoes to the market.

    If you have any questions about this case please contact Steven Asher, email:asher@wka-law.com; Mindee Reuben, email: reuben@wka-law.com; or Jeremy Spiegel, email: spiegel@wka-law.com.

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  • Libor Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litigation

    WKA was appointed by the Court as one of two lead counsel representing bondholders in a class action lawsuit, which alleges a global conspiracy by members of the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) to manipulate the bank interest rate known as LIBOR (the London InterBank Offered Rate).

    LIBOR is a daily benchmark interest rate at which designated [contributor panel/] banks predict [the rate at which] they can borrow unsecured funds from other banks in the London wholesale money market with short term maturities ranging from overnight to one year.

    LIBOR is the primary benchmark for short term interest rates globally and therefore occupies a crucial role in the operation of worldwide financial markets. The plaintiffs and the class they seek to represent are holders of bonds, which paid interest indexed to LIBOR from August 2007 through May 2010.

    The defendants are banks that served on the U.S. dollar LIBOR panel of the BBA during the alleged conspiracy. They include:: Credit Suisse Group AG; Bank of America Corporation; Bank of America, N.A.; JP Morgan Chase & Co.; JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A; HSBC Holdings plc; HSBC Bank plc; Barclays Bank plc; Lloyds Banking Group ;plc; WestLB AG; Westdeutsche Immobilienbank AG; UBS AG; The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc; Deutsche Bank AG; Citibank NA; Citigroup Inc.; Cooperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen Boerenleenbank B.A.; The Norinchukin Bank; The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd.; HBOS plc; and Royal Bank of Canada.

    The case is pending in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan.

    For more information about this case please contact David H. Weinstein, email:weinstein@wka-law.com; or Robert Kitchenoff, email: kitchenoff@wka-law.com.

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  • Imprelis® Herbicide Marketing Litigation

    WKA serves as a lead counsel in this class action on behalf of lawn care professionals and property owners t for damage to trees and other vegetation caused by E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company herbicide Imprelis®.

    Plaintiffs allege that between October 4, 2010 and the present, DuPont misrepresented the safety of Imprelis® to consumers and concealed or omitted the fact that Imprelis®caused serious environmental damage to trees and other vegetation, particularly Norway and Colorado spruce, white pines, and other evergreens. Also, the action charges DuPont with consumer fraud, unjust enrichment, negligence, product liability and damage to land.

    The Court recently approved the settlement of this litigation which has no cap on the amount of damages which the class may receive. The case is pending before the Honorable Judge Gene E.K. Pratter in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

    For more information about this case please contact Robert Kitchenoff, email:kitchenoff@wka-law.com.

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  • Angie’s List Membership Fee Litigation

    WKA has filed a class action against Angie’s List, Inc. to recover millions of dollars in damages on behalf of current and former subscribers, who were overcharged for renewal of their memberships. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

    The lawsuit alleges that Angie’s List has been systematically breaching its Membership Agreement in order to collect greater membership renewal fees. Angie’s List is an internet-based company that provides its members with a private forum to access reviews of contractors.

    Specifically, the complaint alleges that Angie’s List has contracted with its members to charge new and renewing members at the same “Membership Fee,” but is instead charging its renewing members a different – and more expensive – “Membership Renewal Fee.”

    The Court granted preliminary approval of a settlement with Angie’s List and appointed Mindee J. Reuben and Jeremy S. Spiegel as Settlement Class Counsel on April 21, 2014.    The settlement website can be accessed by clicking here.

    For more information about this case please contact Jeremy Spiegel, email:spiegel@wka-law.com.

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  • Ductile Iron Pipe Fittings Antitrust Litigation (Indirect)

    WKA was appointed co-lead counsel on behalf of indirect purchasers of ductile iron pipe fittings (“DIPF”). DIPF are commonly used to join pipes, valves and hydrants in pipeline systems that transport drinking and waste water in municipal distribution systems and treatment plants.

    The complaint alleges that a cartel of DIPF manufacturers, McWane Inc., SIGMA Corporation, and Star Pipe Products, Ltd. conspired to fix prices of DIPF through direct communication, price lists, a so-called “research association” and an illegal distribution agreement. Both antitrust claims and violations of state law are alleged.

    Pending in the District of New Jersey, this case is in the early stages of discovery.

    If you have any questions about this case, please contact Steven Asher, email:asher@wka-law.com; or Mindee Reuben, email: reuben@wka-law.com.

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