Commitments and Contingencies
The Company is exposed to claims and litigation matters arising in the ordinary course of business and uses various methods to resolve these matters in a manner that we believe best serves the interests of our stakeholders. Our primary contingencies are associated with insurance and self-insurance obligations and litigation matters. Estimation of our insurance and self-insurance liabilities requires significant judgments, and actual claim settlements and associated expenses may differ from our current provisions for loss. We have exposures to loss contingencies arising from pending or threatened litigation for which assessing and estimating the outcomes of these matters involve substantial uncertainties.
On October 27, 2008, Whole Foods Market was served with the complaint in Kottaras v. Whole Foods Market, Inc., a putative class action filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking treble damages, equitable, injunctive, and declaratory relief and alleging that the acquisition and merger between Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats violates various provisions of the federal antitrust laws. During the sixteen weeks ended January 15, 2012, the federal district judge denied the plaintiff's motion for class certification. Currently that decision is being appealed. The Company has not accrued any loss related to the outcome of this case as of January 15, 2012.
The Company evaluates contingencies on an ongoing basis and has established loss provisions for matters in which losses are probable and the amount of loss can be reasonably estimated. Insurance and legal settlement liabilities are included in the “Other current liabilities” line item on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. We believe the recorded reserves in our consolidated financial statements are adequate in light of the probable and estimable liabilities.