United States District Court, D. Minnesota
In re Wholesale Grocery Products Antitrust Litigation This Order Relates to All Actions
T. Dangel III, Esq., Dangel & Mattchen, LLC, Boston, MA,
on behalf of Plaintiffs JFM Market, Inc., and MJF Market,
Stephen P. Safranski, Esq., Martin R. Lueck, Esq., Jeffrey S.
Gleason, Esq., and Geoffrey H. Kozen, Esq., Robins Kaplan
LLP, Minneapolis, MN, on behalf of Defendant SuperValu, Inc.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MONTGOMERY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the undersigned United States District Judge
for a ruling on Defendant SuperValu, Inc.'s
(“SuperValu”) Objections [Docket No. 845] to
Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung's August 3, 2017 Omnibus
Case Management & Fourth Amended Pretrial Scheduling
Order (“Scheduling Order”) [Docket No. 838].
SuperValu argues that the Scheduling Order is erroneous
because it permits Plaintiffs JFM Market, Inc., and MJF
Market, Inc. (collectively, “Village Market”) to
pursue certification of a New England class even though the
Court denied certification of a New England class in 2012 and
ruled in August 2015 that Village Market may not relitigate
the issue of certification for a New England class. For the
reasons set forth below, the Objections are overruled and the
Scheduling Order is affirmed.
Standard of Review
magistrate judge's order on a nondispositive pretrial
matter will not be set aside unless it is “clearly
erroneous or is contrary to law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a).
“A finding is ‘clearly erroneous' when,
although there is evidence to support it, the reviewing court
on the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm
conviction that a mistake has been committed.”
Chakales v. Comm'r of Internal Revenue, 79 F.3d
726, 728 (8th Cir.1996). “A decision is ‘contrary
to the law' when it ‘fails to apply or misapplies
relevant statutes, case law or rules of
procedure.'” Knutson v. Blue Cross & Blue
Shield of Minn., 254 F.R.D. 553, 556 (D. Minn. 2008)
(quoting Transamerica Life Ins. Co. v. Lincoln Nat'l
Life Ins. Co., 592 F.Supp.2d 1087, 1093 (N.D. Iowa
argues that the Scheduling Order is contrary to law because
Village Market has not demonstrated materially changed
circumstances that warrant revisiting this Court's 2012
denial of certification for a New England
class. SuperValu additionally contends that
allowing Village Market to relitigate class certification
functionally reverses this Court's August 20, 2015 Order
[Docket No. 534] (“August 2015 Order”) stating
that Village Market is not permitted to pursue certification
of a narrower New England class.
Rule of Civil Procedure 23(c)(1)(C) provides: “An order
that grants or denies class certification may be altered or
amended before final judgment.” This rule
“empowers district courts to alter or amend
class-certification orders based on circumstances developing
as the case unfolds.” Amgen Inc. v. Conn.
Retirement Plans & Trust Funds, 568 U.S. 455, 479
n.9 (2013) (internal quotations and alterations omitted).
“When the decision on class certification comes before
full merits discovery has been completed, . . . [a] decision
to certify or not to certify a class may . . . require
revisiting upon completion of full discovery.”
Blades v. Monsanto Co., 400 F.3d 562, 567 (8th Cir.
argues that no previously unavailable evidence exists to
justify reopening the class determination. Village Market
disagrees, contending that new evidence discovered after the
denial of class certification, including changed testimony
from a C&S executive, establishes that C&S's
pricing scheme in New England was formulaic, rather than
individualized. Although SuperValu argues that it will be
prejudiced by having to relitigate the issue of certification
of a New England class, any such prejudice is outweighed by
the prejudice Village Market would suffer if it were
foreclosed from arguing that developing circumstances,
including newly discovered evidence, are sufficiently
compelling to warrant amending the Class Certification Order
under Rule 23(c)(1)(C).
on these and other developments which have unfolded in this
case since the 2012 denial of certification of a New England
class and the August 2015 Order, Judge Leung's decision
to permit Village Market to move for reconsideration of class
certification under Rule 23(c)(1)(C) is not clearly erroneous
or contrary to law. Accordingly, SuperValu's Objections