Cuppels v Mountaire Corporation et al.
Civil Action No. S18C-06-009 CAK
Delaware Superior Court

Case Update: September 3, 2021

On June 24, 2021, a stipulation was filed with the Court that dismissed the Appeals and Final Approval of the settlement was granted. Over the past eight weeks, we (the claims administrator, RG/2 Claims, and the claims adjudicator, Judge Raker) have been working diligently on the administrative process. We are mindful that you are anxious for as early a resolution as possible. We are sure you understand that there are many necessary steps in this process, including, but not limited to, assessing eligibility, confirming that the claimed properties are located in the class map areas, verification of property ownership and evaluating duplicate claims. We have also been considering late filed claims for eligibility.

Please know that we understand this has been a long and difficult journey and we will continue to work to resolve this expeditiously. Our goal is to allocate the settlement funds fairly and as soon as reasonable possible. To do so, we must make sure to the best we can that the information we have is accurate.

Please check this website for further updates.

You may have been mailed a Notice or seen notice in a newspaper which concerns your potential entitlement to recover compensation for alleged groundwater and air contamination from the Millsboro, Delaware poultry processing facility owned by Mountaire Farms of Delaware, Inc. Read the Notice carefully as it concerns your legal rights and contains deadlines for participation.

A $65,000,000.00 proposed settlement (“Class Action Settlement”) has been reached that offers payments to the “Mountaire Settlement Class” consisting of: all Persons who, on or after May 1, 2000, owned, leased, resided on, or were employed on a full-time basis at: (a) property located in whole or part within the Groundwater Area, which is geographically bounded by the solid blue line on Exhibit A, and not the Air Area, which is bounded by the dashed red line on Exhibit A; (b) property located in whole or part within the Air Area, but not the Groundwater Area; and (c) property located in whole or part within both the Groundwater Area and the Air Area.

Excluded from the definition of the class are: (1) Defendants; (2) any entity in which Defendants have a controlling interest; (3) any Person with an ownership interest in Defendants; (4) any current or former officer or director of Defendants; (5) any current or former employee of any Defendant for any potential exposure during their employment by such Defendant; (6) Persons who have entered into separate settlement agreements with any Defendant related to claims similar to those claims made in the Action; and (7) the legal representatives, successors, or assigns of Defendants.

In addition to this Class Action Settlement, in another case in Federal Court, State of Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control v. Mountaire Farms of Delaware, Inc., C.A. No. 18-838 (MN), Mountaire has agreed to engage in certain additional activities to prevent future harm to the groundwater, reduce air emissions and provide residents an avenue to report and receive follow-up on air pollution complaints in the form of a First Amended Consent Decree before the Federal Court for approval. These additional activities include: refraining from land application of sludges and biosolids pending certain wastewater treatment upgrades; continuing to provide bottled water to certain residents; installing at least 60 acres of phytoremediation; and establishing a process to respond to odor complaints. The Parties estimate that the aggregate value of these separate commitments is expected to be approximately $120 million for incurred and contracted costs, exclusive of long-term operation and maintenance and contingencies. Further information about the Federal Case, including resolution of claims by Intervenors in that case, is set forth below.

The Court in charge of this case still has to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If it does, and after any appeals are finally resolved, payments will be made to those who have filed a valid claim and suffered compensable injuries and damages.

Your legal rights are affected whether you act or don’t act. Please read this notice carefully.

These rights and options—and the deadlines to exercise them—are explained in this notice.

Do not call the Sussex County Superior Court or Mountaire or Mountaire’s Counsel, as they cannot provide you with legal advice or any opinion regarding the Lawsuit or proposed Settlement.