On March 26, class certification in two previously disclosed antitrust lawsuits against Batesville Casket Company, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hillenbrand, Inc. was denied by United States District Judge.
Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt, ruled in support of the memoranda and recommendations of U.S. Magistrate Judge Calvin Botley. Hillenbrand’s president and chief executive officer, Kenneth A. Camp, was highly pleased with the rulings, he says, that its a major step forward as the court’s recognizes the legitimacy of their century-old policy of selling only through licensed funeral homes.
The Funeral Consumers Alliance suit, filed in 2005, accused Batesville Casket, Service Corp. International, Alderwoods Group Inc. and Stewart Enterprises Inc. of shutting out competition from independent casket retailers and colluding with funeral homes to set artificially high prices. The independent retailers added their own suit shortly thereafter.
If anyone is interested about the background of these cases, may refer to Hillenbrand’s most recent SEC Form 10-Q and to the rulings posted on their Web site, https://www.hillenbrandinc.com.