Parents of children who ate school lunches could be eligible for - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Parents of children who ate school lunches could be eligible for a refund

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Thousands of Iowa parents who paid for lunch for their children may be eligible for a refund in a class action lawsuit involving Martin Brothers.

If you bought a school lunch at one of the affected schools from January, 2000 to August, 2014 you could be eligible.

“While it is true we settled this case, we vigorously deny any wrongdoing and would have preferred to aggressively defend the charges,” said Doug Coen, V.P. of sales for Martin Bros. Distribution.

The settlement the result of a class action lawsuit filed against Martin Brothers Distributing Company, Inc. and The Iowa Association for Educational Purchasing; the suit claimed that the two worked together to keep competition down for lunch contracts. The suit claimed Martin Brothers violated Iowa antitrust laws by trying to monopolize the market.

In the settlement, Martin Brothers has agreed to pay $1.9 million. Coen said the company already racked up millions in legal fees, so they decided to settle.

“It was the responsible decision and in the best interest of our company and the more than 500 families that depend on our company for their livelihood,” Coen said.

Coen said despite the settlement, the company denies any wrongdoing or violation of anti-trust laws.

Eligible parents could get up to $3.50 per student, per year -- with a maximum of $50.00 per student.

To see a list of schools involved in the settlement, click here.

For full information about the lawsuit, click here.

To file a claim in the Iowa School Food Settlement, click here.

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