Cranberry Case Status
On June 2, 2016, a meeting of independent cranberry growers was held in Wisconsin Rapids. Attorneys from Lawton & Cates provided an update on the lawsuit against Ocean Spray and reviewed options going forward. Various growers expressed an interest in joining the case and proceeding as individual plaintiffs. If you missed the meeting and are interested in an update on the case and hearing about your options going forward, you should contact Jim Olson, Scott Hassett or Dan Lenz at Lawton & Cates, (608) 282-6200.
On May 10, 2016, the Court denied Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. However, the court’s denial does not prevent individuals from pursing their claims against Ocean Spray. On the left hand side of this page, under documents, you will find the Court’s decision.
In October 2012, a lawsuit was filed against Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. on behalf of a class of independent cranberry growers as well as B pool growers within Ocean Spray. The basis of the suit is that Ocean Spray's actions in creating the B pool and then using this fruit in a concentrate "auction" is in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act as well as Massachusetts General Laws. This practice began in 2009 and has continued since then placing the price at such a level that independent and B pool growers are suffering financially to the extent that their farms are at stake. Many growers have been in business for generations and are at risk of losing their land and livelihood. This lawsuit was filed in an effort to save these families' farms and ensure a sustainable future for the industry as a whole.
We have successfully survived a motion to dismiss and summary judgment. The case is now moving towards the discovery phase, class certification, and trial.
This site will be updated on the first business day of each month to keep class members informed of the progress of the lawsuit. Pleadings will be published here as they become available. If you are a potential member of the class, either an independent grower or B pool grower, and have questions, please direct those questions to one of the plaintiff's attorneys listed herein: