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IMPORTANT — Class members, please remember to notify class counsel promptly if you have a change of address. Also, if you have not already done so, please provide class counsel with an email address and phone number where you can be reached. You may contact class counsel by calling or emailing attorney Tim Coffield (434-218-3133; tc@coffieldlaw.com) or attorney Bert Braud (844-243-2288). For additional information about the lawsuit, you may contact attorney Bert Braud or attorney Tim Coffield.


UPDATE 3/7/2018 — On March 7, 2018, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri entered an Order directing Panera to make the required payments to the class members by April 2, 2018. The Court’s March 7, 2018 Order also contains additional provisions that will govern the execution of the Court’s Final Judgment dated June 16, 2016, as amended by subsequent orders, and the payment of post-judgment interest. To view or download the Court’s March 7, 2018 Order, click here.

Pursuant to the March 7, 2018 Order, Panera will deliver the class members’ payment checks to class counsel by April 2, 2018, and class counsel will then distribute the payment checks to the individual class members. For this reason, it is extremely important that class counsel have current mailing addresses and other contact information for the class members. Class members, please notify class counsel immediately if you have had a change of address. Also, if you have not already done so, please provide class counsel with an email address and phone number where you can be reached. You may contact class counsel by calling or emailing attorney Tim Coffield (434-218-3133; tc@coffieldlaw.com) or attorney Bert Braud (844-243-2288).


UPDATE 1/8/2018 — We win on appeal! On January 5, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued an opinion affirming the District Court’s decisions certifying the case as a class action and granting summary judgment in favor of the class members on their breach of contract claim. To view or download the Eight Circuit’s opinion, click here.

In the coming days, we anticipate hearing from Panera’s counsel as to how Panera intends to proceed. Because this opinion is from a three-judge panel of the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals, Panera has the option of asking the entire twelve-judge Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to review the decision. Until we know what Panera’s intentions are, we cannot set a timeline for possible distribution of funds. In any event, this is a positive step closer to a final resolution.


UPDATE — On September 21, 2017, attorneys for both sides argued the case before a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The Eighth Circuit posted an audio recording of the argument. To download or listen to the audio recording of the argument, click here.


UPDATE 8/28/2017 —  On July 14, 2016, Panera filed a notice of appeal of the District Court’s June 16, 2016 final judgment and March 24, 2016 Order granting summary judgment in favor of the class members on their breach of contract claim. To view the Court’s Judgment in favor of the class members on the contract claim, click here. To view the District Court’s Memorandum Order on summary judgment, click here. Panera also appealed the District Court’s previous Order certifying this case as a class action. To view the District Court’s Memorandum Order granting class certification, click here. In January, February, and March 2017, the attorneys for Panera and the attorneys for the class members filed briefs regarding Panera’s appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. On September 21, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit will hear oral arguments on Panera’s appeal from the attorneys on both sides. For copies of the briefs or for additional information, you may contact class counsel by calling or emailing attorney Tim Coffield (434-218-3133; tc@coffieldlaw.com) or attorney Bert Braud (844-243-2288).


UPDATE — On September 19, 2016, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri entered an Order on Plaintiffs’ Motion for Attorneys’ Fees, Costs, and Service Awards. To view the Court’s Order, click here.


UPDATE — On March 24, 2016, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri granted summary judgment in favor of the class members on their breach of contract claim against Panera, LLC. To view the Court’s Memorandum and Order on summary judgment, click here.

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Boswell, et al. v. Panera Bread Company, et al., No. 4:14-CV-1833 (ED MO)

IF YOU (1) ARE OR WERE A JOINT VENTURE GENERAL MANAGER FOR PANERA BREAD COMPANY OR PANERA, LLC, (2) SIGNED A JOINT VENTURE GENERAL MANAGER COMPENSATION PLAN, AND (3) RECEIVED A CAPPED JVGM BUYOUT PAYMENT BETWEEN 2012 AND 2015, A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT MAY AFFECT YOUR RIGHTS.

A court authorized this notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.

There is presently pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri a legal action against Panera Bread Company and Panera, LLC. This action concerns Panera’s alleged imposition of a “cap” on the maximum amount of a JV GM Buyout payment that Panera made to you between 2012 and 2015, and to other JV GMs who fall within the class certified by the Court. This action alleges that Panera’s imposition of a Buyout cap violates the Panera JV GM Compensation Plan to which you were a party, and was contrary to Panera’s representations. The action alleges that Panera’s imposition of the Buyout cap constituted a breach of contract and fraud under Missouri law. Panera has denied these allegations and maintains that there was no breach of contract or fraud by Panera, and that the JV GM Compensation Plans at issue were properly modified and/or replaced with new agreements.

The United States District Court has certified this action as a class action on behalf of all of the individual JV GMs who have been identified as class members and are being notified by mail. If you have received this Notice, you are a considered to be a member of the class and your rights will be affected by the certification of this class.

Your Legal Rights and Options in this Lawsuit

Do Nothing Stay in this lawsuit. Give up certain rights.
By doing nothing, you keep the possibility of getting
money or benefits that may come from trial or
settlement. But, you give up any rights to sue Panera
separately about the same legal claims in this lawsuit.
Ask to be Excluded Get out of this lawsuit. Get no benefits from it.
Keep rights.
If you ask to be excluded and money or benefits are
later awarded, you won’t share in those. But you keep
any rights to sue Panera separately about the same legal
claims in this lawsuit.

These rights and options – and the deadlines to exercise them – are explained in the Questions comprising the Notice of Class Action.

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