Settlement reached in lawsuit involving the food at hundreds of schools

NO SCHOOL LUNCH PKG 6

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A food distribution company has agreed to pay $1.9 million to settle a lawsuit that claims it conspired with others over several years to restrain the bidding process for selling food at schools across Iowa.

The lawsuit says Martin Brothers Distributing Company conspired with Iowa Educators Corporation and its successor, the Iowa Association for Educational Purchasing, to monopolize the business of food distribution at hundreds of schools over a 14-year period.

Martin Brothers and the others deny they did anything wrong. They say the process was fair, and the agreement was reached to avoid litigation costs.

An eligible individual can file a claim to receive up to $3.50 per student per year, for a maximum of $50 per student. Attorneys for both parties did not immediately return messages left Thursday.

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