Court Relies on Compass Lexecon Expert to Deny Class Certification in Southeastern Milk Antitrust Litigation

Federal Court Relies on Compass Lexecon Expert Joseph Kalt in Rejecting Class Certification in Southeastern Milk Antitrust Litigation

On January 25, 2016, Judge Ronnie Greer of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee issued an order denying class certification for retail milk sellers (including Food Lion) who had alleged that Dean Foods had conspired with dairy cooperative Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) and milk processor National Dairy Holdings, LP to lessen competition for processed milk in the southeastern part of the United States.

In finding that plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that common issues predominate over individual ones, Judge Greer relied extensively on the analyses of Compass Lexecon expert Professor Joseph P. Kalt. In both written and oral hearing testimony, Professor Kalt presented numerous analyses and tests of the plaintiff expert’s damage model and related analyses. Professor Kalt concluded that the plaintiffs’ expert had not provided a reliable method of proof of class wide impact and that, in fact, the data were inconsistent with claims of such impact.

Compass Lexecon and Professor Kalt had been working on this matter since 2010, working closely with counsel representing defendants including Paul H. Friedman and Carolyn M. Hazard of Dechert LLP for Dean Foods; Steven R. Kuney and Carl R. Metz of Williams & Connolly LLP for DFA; Todd Miller of Baker & Miller, also for DFA; and Kay Lynn Brumbaugh of Andrews Kurth LLP for National Dairy Holdings. Professor Kalt was supported by a Compass Lexecon team including Charles Augustine and David Reishus in our Boston office. Compass Lexecon worked closely with a Cornerstone team led by Bryan Ricchetti.