Magistrate Judge Recommends Denial of Class Certification in Funeral Industry Antitrust Litigation

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 General News
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BATESVILLE, Ind., Nov. 25 Hill-Rom Holdings,Inc. (NYSE: HRC), announced that a Magistrate Judge in the United StatesDistrict Court in the Southern District of Texas (Houston) issuedrecommendations that plaintiffs' motions for class certification be denied intwo previously disclosed antitrust lawsuits against Batesville Casket Co.,Inc. and Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc.

As previously reported, a purported consumer advocacy group, the FuneralConsumers Alliance and several consumers who had purchased Batesville casketsfiled a purported class action lawsuit ("FCA Action") against BatesvilleCasket Company, Inc., Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (formerly known as HillenbrandIndustries, Inc.), and three of Batesville's funeral home customers, allegingthat the defendants violated the antitrust laws. A related lawsuit ("PioneerValley Action") was filed by a group of current and former independent casketretailers, alleging similar violations, purportedly on behalf of a class ofindependent casket retailers. Hearings on the plaintiffs' respective motionsfor class certification in those cases were held in December 2006 before theMagistrate Judge and a briefing on the motion took place thereafter.

On November 24, 2008, the Magistrate Judge recommended that the motionsfor class certification in both cases be denied. The plaintiffs in each casehave 10 court days (which may be extended) to file objections to theMagistrate Judge's recommendations with the United States District Judge. Ifthe District Judge accepts the Magistrate Judge's recommendations and deniesclass certification, plaintiffs may petition the United States Court ofAppeals for the Fifth Circuit for leave to appeal.

For further information and background on these cases, please refer to theCompany's most recent SEC Form 10-Q.


Hill-Rom is a leading worldwide manufacturer and provider of medicaltechnologies and related services for the health care industry, includingpatient support systems, safe mobility and handling solutions, non-invasivetherapeutic products for a variety of acute and chronic medical conditions,medical equipment rentals, and information technology solutions. Hill-Rom'scomprehensive product and service offerings are used by health care providersacross the health care continuum and around the world in hospitals, extendedcare facilities and home care settings to enhance the safety and quality ofpatient care.

Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release contain forward-lookingstatements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Actof 1995, regarding the Company's future plans, objectives, beliefs,expectations, representations and projections. The Company has tried,wherever possible, to identify these forward-looking statements using wordssuch as "intend," "anticipate," "believe," "plan," "encourage," "expect,""may," "goal," "become," "pursue," "estimate," "strategy," "will,""projection," "forecast," "continue," "accelerate," "promise," "increase,""higher," "lower," "reduce," "improve," "expand," "progress," "potential" orthe negative of those terms or other variations of them or by comparableterminology. The absence of such terms, however, does not mean that thestatement is not forward-looking. It is important to note thatforward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and theCompany's actual results could differ materially from those set forth in anyforward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differfrom forward-looking statements include but are not limited to: the Company'sdependence on its relationships with several large group purchasingorganizations, whether the Company's new products are successful in themarketplace, changes in customers' Medicare reimbursements, collections ofaccounts receivable, compliance with FDA regulations, antitrust litigation,potential exposure to product liability or other claims, failure of theCompany's announced or future strategic initiatives and restructuring andrealignment activities to achieve expected growth, efficiencies or costreductions, disruptions in the Company's business or other adverseconsequences resulting from the recent spin-off of the funeral servicebusiness, failure to realize the anticipated benefits of the spin-off, failureof the Company to execute its acquisition and business alliance strategythrough the consummation and successful integration of acquisitions or entryinto joint ventures or other business alliances, increased costs orunavailability of raw materials, adverse changes in global economic conditionsor disruptions of credit markets, labor disruptions, the ability to retainexecutive officers and other key personnel, and certain tax-related matters.For a more in depth discussion of these and other factors that could causeactual results to differ from those contained in forward-looking statements,see the discussions under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's AnnualReport on Form 10-K for the period ended September 30, 2007, its CurrentReport on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on March 17, 2008, and the Annual Reporton Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2008, which will be filed laterthis week. The Company assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.Hill-Rom ... enhancing outcomes for patients and their caregivers.

SOURCE Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc.

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