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High court rejects StarKist’s tuna price-fixing, class-action appeal


(Reuters) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a bid by StarKist Co., owned by South Korea’s Dongwon Industries, to avoid a lawsuit by tuna buyers accusing it of fixing prices.

The justices turned away StarKist’s appeal of a lower court’s decision that let three groups of tuna purchasers receive class-action status to jointly sue the canned tuna company even though a large number of buyers may not have been overcharged and injured by the price fixing.

The case could have given the justices, had they decided to hear it, a chance to make it harder for consumers and other plaintiffs to receive class-action status.

The Reston, Virginia-based company, which produces StarKist Tuna, had asked the Supreme Court to consider whether plaintiffs could still win class-action status in cases in which some of the members of the class were not injured by a company’s alleged wrongdoing.