Court Order in Effect to Prevent Lunch Room Monopolies

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - Attorneys say they have a plan to keep a monopoly effect from happening between food distributors and school districts.

The class-action suit was filed against Martin Brothers Distributing and the Iowa Education Corporation. It alleged they created a monopoly that resulted in higher lunch prices. The lawsuit was eventually settled for nearly $2 million.

Attorney Bart Goplerud, who worked on the case says, a court order is already in effect to prevent this from happening again.

“It also provided the Iowa Education Corporation would cease past their past activities and to ensure there would be a competitive bidding process going forward.”

Goplerud says around 10,000 parents from 900 schools statewide have already filed reimbursement claims. Parents will be refunded $3.50 per child, per year. He says he’s surprised by the number of those who took the time to file a claim but not surprised by their reasoning behind it.

“Obviously these people are making the claims because they’re entitled to their money back,” he says. “That’s one of the substantial things class actions can do is to change businesses and people’s behavior going forward so that it doesn’t happen again.”

You can find the list of schools involved in the settlement and instructions on how to file a claim here.

All claims must be filed by the end of the month.