Manitoba, Canada: (Feb-5-08) A class action lawsuit was brought against Ridley Inc. and the Government of Canada in four provinces, over losses allegedly incurred by Canadian cattle farmers as a result of international bans on trade in Canadian beef following the May 2003 diagnosis of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in an Alberta cow.
As part of a settlement reached, Ridley will pay $6 million into a plaintiffs' settlement trust fund and will effectively cap its exposure to the claims made by the plaintiffs to the $6 million. Sources further said that Ridley will remain a participant in the ongoing litigation as plaintiffs continue their claim against the Government of Canada. In reaching a settlement, the company did not admit to or deny any allegations, but paid to avoid the costs and risks associated with further litigation. Company officials said that the settlement agreement will be finalized and Ridley will pay the settlement funds provided the number of class member opt-outs is below an agreed threshold. [