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Ahold Finalizes US Foods Class Action Settlement; Appoints Chief Legal Officer

Ahold Finalizes US Foods Class Action Settlement; Appoints Chief Legal Officer

ZAANDAM, THE NETHERLANDS – Ahold has announced that its settlement in the Waterbury litigation class action suit is now final, with the appeal period set by the court coming to an end.

As we previously reported, Ahold and its former subsidiary US Foodservice, now known as US Foods, entered into an agreement to resolve a class-action lawsuit. Ahold agreed to pay $297 million to settle the litigation, which accused its former US Foodservice distribution unit of allegedly “defrauding thousands of hospitals and restaurants through overcharges.”

According to a press release, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut approved the settlement in December 2014. The settlement amount of $297 million has been paid from Ahold’s existing provision. Now that the settlement is final, Ahold’s potential liability in the class action has been resolved.

Following the announcement of the finalization of the settlement, Ahold also announced the appointment of Jan Ernst de Groot as its Chief Legal Officer and a member of the company’s Executive Committee.

Jan Ernst will begin these new roles on February 1. He will be based in Ahold’s headquarters in Zaandam, the Netherlands and will report to CEO Dick Boer.

Dick Boer, CEO, Ahold

Dick Boer, Ahold CEO, said, “I am excited that Jan Ernst is joining our company as Chief Legal Officer. He brings highly relevant global commercial experience as a general counsel. In addition, Jan Ernst has a strong business and sustainability acumen, and is an experienced boardroom advisor. He will provide key insights as we continue to execute our Reshaping Retail strategy.”

Jan Ernst will be responsible for Ahold’s legal affairs, governance and compliance. He will also head up responsible retailing and product integrity.

Congratulations on the new position, Jan Ernst!