Modesto Bee
June 29, 2004

Checks began arriving in the mail last week for 24 San Joaquin and Stanislaus county dairies, egg producers and feed companies that filed a class action lawsuit against six vitamin suppliers. The lawsuit was initiated by Gardner Rossi Co. of Ceres. The lawsuit claimed that the suppliers of vitamins that are mixed into feed intentionally fixed their prices. The defendants – identified as the companies BASF, Daiichi, Eisai, Aventis, Roche and Takeda – admitted no wrongdoing in the case and settled for $42 million in 2001. The case was appealed by a third party. That appeal was concluded this year. Checks ranging from $1,700 to $547,000 were sent out last week, said James Brown, a Stockton attorney who represented the 24 plaintiffs. “Despite all the publicity, there were a lot of plaintiffs with legitimate claims who walked away from this money by not joining the suit,” Brown said. “This was a chance for farmers to recoup some money, but very few took advantage of the situation.”