Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation
LGN is co-lead counsel for a class of direct purchasers of broiler chickens in the United States. We allege that broiler producers colluded to restrain production and otherwise raised prices for broilers sold in the United States. This action is pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois before the Honorable Thomas Durkin.
The antitrust team at Lockridge Grindal Nauen is plaintiffs’ court-appointed co-lead counsel in a case we filed on behalf of our clients alleging anticompetitive conduct by producers of broiler chickens. Our clients and the class we intend to represent are direct purchasers of chicken from 17 broiler producers.
On August 18, 2017, the Court preliminarily approved a settlement between direct purchaser plaintiffs and defendant Fieldale Farms. In addition to paying $2.25 million, Fieldale Farms will provide substantial cooperation regarding the allegations in plaintiffs’ complaint. The Court has approved a notice to be provided to the class in the coming months. A copy of the notice is available here.
On November 20, 2017, the Court upheld plaintiffs’ allegations that the defendant poultry producers conspired to restrain broiler production and raise broiler prices. The Court denied all defendants’ motions to dismiss the direct purchasers’ complaint. We will now pursue full discovery to vigorously prosecute this case on behalf of the class.
If you purchased broiler chickens between 2008 and today, you may have overpaid. For more details, please read on and follow the links below. If you would like to discuss your legal options, please contact Joe Bruckner or Brian Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 612-339-6900.
Case History & Background
Broiler chickens constitute approximately 98% of all chicken meat sold in the United States. On October 14, 2016, the Court appointed Lockridge Grindal Nauen and Pearson Simon Warshaw as lead counsel for the direct purchaser plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs allege that beginning in 2008, broiler chicken producers coordinated their efforts to artificially reduce the supply of broiler chickens for sale in the United States, knowing that those supply reductions would increase prices. Defendants coordinated their supply reductions by sharing confidential production information with one another, closing plants, exporting hatching eggs, and destroying their breeder hens. As a result, during that time broiler chicken prices have increased nearly 50%. The complaint also includes allegations that a widely used price index—the Georgia Dock—not only may be unreliable, but that broiler producers may have manipulated it in an effort to keep broiler prices artificially high.
In our Third Amended Complaint filed on January 31, 2018, plaintiffs added Defendants Mar-Jac Poultry, Claxton Poultry, and Harrison Poultry. Additionally, the Third Amended Complaint identifies Allen Harim, Case Foods, Amick Farms, and Keystone as co-conspirators who participated in the conspiracy, but are not formally named as Defendants.
Were you affected by the alleged broiler chicken conspiracy?
If you purchased broiler chickens between 2008 and today from any of the following companies or their subsidiaries, you may have overpaid: Koch Foods, Inc., Tyson Foods, Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, Perdue Farms, Inc., Sanderson Farms, Inc., Wayne Farms, LLC, Mountaire Farms, Inc., Peco Foods, Inc., Foster Farms, House of Raeford Farms, Inc., Simmons, Fieldale Farms Corporation, George’s, Inc., O.K. Foods, Inc., Mar-Jac Poultry, Claxton Poultry, or Harrison Poultry.
Do I have to do anything to be a member of the class?
No, by default you are a member of the class if you take no action and you are entitled to recover a pro rata share of the funds we recover for the class for any qualifying purchase of Broilers. You may have received communications regarding this lawsuit, including solicitations by other attorneys seeking to represent you as a Direct Action Plaintiff in an individual lawsuit against Defendants. These communications were not approved by the Court and did not come from Court-appointed Plaintiffs’ Class Counsel. You should carefully review the Fieldale Settlement notice and your rights as a Class Member before deciding whether to opt out or stay in the Class. If you have questions about this litigation and your rights as a Class Member, please contact Joe Bruckner or Brian Clark as shown immediately below.
If you would like to discuss your legal options, please contact Joe Bruckner or Brian Clark at email@example.com or at 612-339-6900.
ARTICLES & DOCUMENTS
Court Order: Approval of Class Notice Plan for Fieldale Settlement
Third Amended Class Action Complaint
Court Order – Denial of Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss
Court Order – Preliminary Approval of Fieldale Farms Settlement
Article: Florida probes Koch Foods, Wayne Farms over chicken pricing | Reuters
Article: Is the Chicken Industry Rigged? | Bloomberg Business Week
Article: SEC Investigation Into Chicken Prices | Forbes
Second Amended Class Action Complaint
Article: Internal document shows U.S. chicken prices may have been artificially inflated for years | Washington Post
Article: You Might Be Paying Too Much for Your Chicken | New York Times
Court Order – LGN antitrust attorneys appointed lead counsel.
Article: Is There a Vast Conspiracy to Overcharge You for Chicken? | Bloomberg Law
Article: Antitrust Lawsuit Calls Chicken Prices Rigged | Courthouse News Service
Antitrust class action: Poultry producers manipulated market, kept chicken prices too high | Cook County Record