Alexander Farms lawsuit settled, both sides say

OXFORD – Settlement is reported in a federal lawsuit claiming unpaid minimum wages and breach of contract against a large, regional sweet potato operation.

The lawsuit, filed in September 2008 by 27 Mexican workers, claimed Ryan Alexander and Alexander Farms failed in their promises and treated them unfairly.

The settlement notice comes from both sides in joint notice to the court, which had set Dec. 16 as the deadline for specific actions.

“Trial will be unnecessary,” said the notice, signed by plaintiff counsel Caitlin Berberich of Nashville, Tenn., with W. Brent McBride of Tupelo, and defense attorney Marc D. Amos of Columbus.

The workers sought money damages and the court’s help to correct what they called “violations of law” for their work on temporary work visas.

Details of the settlement were not made public. It’s not uncommon for secrecy to be part of the agreement.

The workers claimed they had to pay some of all of their transportation and living expenses to get back home after their work contracts ended. They also claimed they weren’t reimbursed for things they’d been promised and weren’t paid minimum wage, as stated in their work contracts in 2006.

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal