December 10, 2015 (Oakland, CA) – United States District Court Judge William H. Alsup today granted preliminary approval to a $4.575 million settlement in the mesquite class action litigation Il Fornaio Corporation, et al. v. Lazzari Fuel Company, LLC, et al., Case No. 13-cv-05197 WHA (N.D. Cal.).

Pritzker Levine LLP represents Il Fornaio (America) Corporation, which owns and operates 21 full service restaurants, Oliveto Partners, Ltd., and the Famous Enterprise Fish Company of Santa Monica, Inc. in this federal antitrust lawsuit against distributors of mesquite lump charcoal.

The lawsuit alleges that between January 1, 2000 and September 30, 2011, the defendants (Lazzari Fuel Company, LLC, California Charcoal and Firewood, Inc. and Chef’s Choice Mesquite Charcoal) conspired to suppress and restrain competition in violation of federal antitrust laws. In particular, defendants allegedly fixed the prices for mesquite lump charcoal by agreeing to allocate the market and to not compete with each other.

Elizabeth Pritzker of Pritzker Levine was appointed by the Court to serve as sole counsel for plaintiffs in the case. She obtained certification of a nationwide class of restaurants and food distributors that purchased mesquite lump charcoal directly from the defendants. She then negotiated a $4.575 million class settlement of the lawsuit. On December 10, 2014, the Court granted preliminary approval of the proposed settlement. The Court will hold a hearing at 3:00 pm on April 22, 2015 to determine whether to grant final approval to the class settlement.

For important information about the settlement, please visit the settlement website at www.MesquiteClassAction.com or call the settlement hotline toll-free at 1-888-755-9508.

About Pritzker Levine

Pritzker Levine LLP is national litigation firm with offices in California and New York. The firm serves corporate clients, public entities, pension funds, small businesses, nonprofit groups, labor unions, whistleblowers and injured persons in cases involving antitrust violations, securities fraud and derivative claims, commercial disputes, consumer protection, financial wrongdoing, employment law and personal injuries.

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