Canadian judge postpones decision on farmed salmon price-fixing lawsuit settlement

Farmed salmon sold in Loblaws, a Canadian supermarket.

A federal judge in Canada has reserved judgment on a CAD 5.25 million (USD 3.8 million, EUR 3.6 million) settlement in a price-fixing lawsuit against Norway’s biggest salmon farmers.

Cermaq, Grieg, Lerøy, Mowi, Nova Sea, and SalMar were sued in March 2020, with plaintiffs Irene Breckon and Gregory Sills claiming the companies engaged in a conspiracy to fix the prices of farmed Norwegian salmon sold in Canada from April 2013 and February 2019, in violation of the country’s Competition Act.

A settlement proposal in the case was reached on 22 September 2023, covering all Canadian consumers who purchased Norwegian farmed salmon during the period in question. The settlement calls for CAD 2.45 million (USD 1.8 million, EUR 1.6 million) to be distributed to eligible entities – companies that spent at least CAD 1 million (USD 737,000, EUR 677,000) on Norwegian farmed salmon between 2013 and 2019 – in addition to a CAD 250,000 (USD 184,000, EUR 169,000) donation to Food Banks Canada, and a CAD 1.5 million (USD 1.1 million, EUR 1 million) payment to the law firms representing the plaintiffs. As part of the settlement, the salmon firms would not admit any liability or wrongdoing.

Canadian Supreme Court Justice Clément Gascon certified the class action on behalf of the settlement class on 6 September 2023, and was scheduled to deliver a judgment on the settlement on 30 November, but he reserved judgment until further notice, according to Siskinds Partner Linda Visser.

Visser told SeafoodSource if the proposed settlement is approved, it will

Photo courtesy of mynewturtle/Shutterstock

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