Appeals Court Affirms Egg Antitrust Decisions

The Third Circuit affirmed two Eastern District of Pennsylvania decisions from 2018, which held that egg processing companies are not participating in anticompetitive activity and violating the Sherman Act, as the “direct purchaser plaintiffs” claimed, in an Order and Judgement filed on Tuesday.

Judges Jordan, Restrepo, and Fuentes affirmed the decisions after the case was argued on March 25. The judges ruled in June that the case should be considered with the standard rule of reason, viewing each of the alleged conspiracy stratagems separately.

The plaintiff-appellants included T.K. Ribbings Family Restaurant, LLC; John A. Lisciandro doing business as Lisciandro’s Restaurant; Eby-Brown Company, LLC; Karetas Foods Inc. They filed the appeal, which was addressed in Tuesday’s order, near the beginning of 2019. They alleged that the district court did not instruct the jury properly that proof of one element of the conspiracy would result in a violation of the Sherman Act.

Rose Acre Farms Inc., claimed in a July brief that the argument against them in the district court was presented as a single conspiracy, rather than as separate components as the defendant claimed and that the district court’s decision should stand. The farm further alleged that evidence against them was circumstantial. The farm also claimed immunity from antitrust activity.

The plaintiff-appellants are represented by Wollmuth Maher & Deutsch, Bernstein Liebhard, Hausfeld, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, Lite DePalma Greenberg, and Susman Godfrey.  Appellee Rose Acre Farms, Inc. is represented by Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, and Duane Morris.