Hunton & Williams Settles Customers Class Action for $297 Million

Among largest civil RICO class action settlements

WASHINGTON--()--Hunton & Williams LLP has reached a $297 million settlement on behalf of plaintiffs in a multidistrict class action against U.S. Foodservice, Inc. and its former parent company, Koninklijke Ahold, N.V. The settlement agreement is pending approval by the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Richard L. Wyatt Jr., partner and co-leader of Hunton & Williams’ litigation department, who led the firm’s legal team, had several comments:

  • “This is a victory for hospitals and restaurants, which are among some of the largest customers of U.S. Foodservice.”
  • “We are pleased with this result and know that it will bring recompense for the hundreds of plaintiffs, mostly hospitals and restaurants that want to pay a fair price for the goods and foods they provide.”
  • “The parties worked hard to reach this settlement, and we are confident the court will approve it. “

This agreement is believed to be one of the largest civil RICO class action settlements in recent history and was reached on behalf of a class of customers, primarily hospitals and restaurants, who purchased products from U.S. Foodservice under cost-plus arrangements between 1998‒ 2005. The class claimed that it was defrauded by U.S. Foodservice when it created six companies that it controlled to inflate the “cost component” of the products that were subject to the arrangement.

The parties entered into settlement talks when the United States Supreme Court declined to review a federal appeals court opinion affirming certification of a nationwide class of plaintiffs for RICO and breach of contract violations against U.S. Foodservice. Previously, U.S. Foodservice settled a similar claim made by the United States for approximately $30 million.

The Hunton team representing the plaintiffs-class of customers was led by Richard L. Wyatt Jr. and included Todd M. Stenerson, Torsten M. Kracht and Ryan P. Phair.

Plaintiffs were also represented by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, Drubner Hartley & Hellman, LLC, Whatley Kallas, LLP, The McNair Law Firm, P.A., Gray and White, LLP and Foote, Mielkie, Chavez and O'Neil, LLC. U.S. Koninklijke Ahold, N.V (also known as Royal Ahold) and U.S. Foodservice were represented by White & Case LLP and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.

About Hunton & Williams LLP

Hunton & Williams provides legal services to corporations, financial institutions, governments and individuals, as well as to a broad array of other entities. Since our establishment more than a century ago, Hunton & Williams has grown to more than 800 lawyers serving clients in 100 countries from 19 offices around the world. Our practice has a strong industry focus on energy, financial services and life sciences, and our experience extends to practice areas including bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, commercial litigation, corporate transactions and securities law, intellectual property, international and government relations, real estate, regulatory law, products liability, and privacy and cybersecurity. For additional information visit www.hunton.com and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Contacts

Hunton & Williams LLP
Eleanor Kerlow, +1-202-955-1883
Senior Public Relations Manager
ekerlow@hunton.com

Release Summary

Hunton & Williams LLP has reached a $297 million settlement on behalf of plaintiffs in a multidistrict class action against U.S. Foodservice, Inc. and former parent company, Koninklijke Ahold, N.V.

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Contacts

Hunton & Williams LLP
Eleanor Kerlow, +1-202-955-1883
Senior Public Relations Manager
ekerlow@hunton.com