StarKist class-action suit payout less than expected

Published on
September 27, 2019

Consumers who are part of a class-action lawsuit that Starkist agreed to settle in 2015 will get less than the tuna supplier originally agreed to pay.

The lawsuit, which claimed that StarKist was underfilling its five-ounce cans by a few tenths of an ounce, was settled out of court, with Starkist admitting no fault. As a result of the suit, residents of the United States who bought certain tuna products could obtain either USD 25.00 (EUR 22.84) in cash or USD 50.00 (EUR 45.68) worth of coupons for Starkist tuna.

However, payouts have been reduced to USD 2.38 (EUR 2.18) in cash per individual or USD 5.03 (EUR 4.60) in StarKist coupons, ABC 11 reported. The significantly lower payout is due to the fact that more than 2.5 million people signed up for payment, which is 12 times more than Starkist anticipated, according to the news station.

The distribution of settlement proceedings occurred on 20 September, according to the Hendricks versus Starkist website

“The appeals have been resolved, and the settlement is now final,” the site said.

Earlier this month, StarKist was ordered to pay a criminal fine of USD 100 million (EUR 90.3 million) for its role in a separate lawsuit involving tuna price-fixing.

StarKist’s attorneys had been pushing to have the fine lowered to USD 50 million (EUR 45.1 million), calling the decision “life or death” for the company, while prosecutors had been pushing for a full fine based on the company’s recent investment in TechPack Solutions, an India-based can and bottle technology firm.

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