The decision reversed a lower court’s ruling to dismiss claims brought by five retailers who said the deal allowed the suppliers to overcharge them. The judge in the earlier case ruled that the retailers unfairly got around a requirement that they arbitrate disputes with their wholesalers by bringing claims against the wholesaler with whom they did not have an agreement. The same judge earlier this year dismissed a separate lawsuit brought by D&G Foods and DeLuca’s Market.
In overturning the decision, the three-judge panel ruled 2-1 that there was no evidence that the arbitration contracts could have anticipated the conspiracy claims raised by the retailers.
The retailers filing suit were Supervalu customers Blue Goose Super Market, Millennium Operations and King Cole Foods, and C&S customers JFM Market and MJF Market.
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