(Batesville, Ind.) - A drawn out lawsuit involving Batesville-based Hillenbrand has ended after a federal court denies the plaintiff’s request for class certification.
The Funeral Consumer Alliance sued Hillenbrand in 2009 alleging that the Batesville Casket Company violated anti-trust laws by limiting casket sales to only licensed funeral homes.
Following a series of appeals over the past three years, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied on September 13 the FCA’s request for a class action suit, in effect ending the case. Hillenbrand announced the ruling in a press release issued Monday.
Hillenbrand said the lawsuit ends with no finding or admission of liability or wrongdoing by the company. Batesville Casket will continue to sell caskets through licensed funeral homes, a longstanding company policy, the company said.
According to a Hillenbrand press release, conclusion of the FCA action also terminates certain restrictive covenants and other agreements entered into between Hillenbrand and its former parent, Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. at the time of the 2008 spin-off from Hill-Rom. These restrictions and other agreements limited Hillenbrand's and Hill-Rom's ability to increase dividends and engage in certain acquisition activities.