Thursday, July 2, 2015

Avian Influenza Struck Egg-Layer Farm Company Hit with Breach of Contract Lawsuit

  On June 26, 2015, Michael Foods Egg Products Co. filed suit against Hawkeye Pride Egg Farms, LLP, in the United States District Court for Southern District of Iowa.  The claim alleges Hawkeye Pride breached a January 2014 contract in which they were to supply eggs to Michael Foods.  Michael Foods is claiming they suffered irreparable harm and are seeking injunctive relief enjoining Hawkeye from breaching the contract and judgment for damages sufficient to compensate plaintiffs for the breach as well as interest and costs.

  The case was brought into federal court and the exact amount of damages requested is unknown.  The contract at issue has been sealed and is unavailable for viewing. 

  Michael Foods is a subsidiary of cereal producers Post Holdings Inc., and supplies liquid and precooked eggs products primarily.  Hawkeye Pride, located in Iowa, is a division of Center Fresh Group which owns egg farms in Iowa.  Center Fresh Group has lost approximately 7 million chickens in Iowa to Avian Influenza, 5.5 million of which were egg-laying hens.

  The death of more than 30 million laying hens in Iowa has contributed to a deficit in egg availability.  In a USDA report released June 22, 2015, Iowa egg production during May 2015 was 1.03 billion eggs, which is the lowest egg production since February 2005.  The average amount of layers for May 2015 was 44.2 million, this is the lowest inventory since May 2004.      

  Those with access can view Docket No. 4:15-cv-187 at PACER

Written by Katharine Richter - Research Assistant

July 2, 2015

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