05/27/22 | Case Update: Class Certification Granted

– In a victory for consumers, Judge Thomas M. Durkin of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted class certification. Steve Berman, Hagens Berman attorney representing consumers in the antitrust class action said, “Chicken is a fundamental staple on the plate of consumers. We are delighted the Court understood the importance of allowing a collective action to join together the claims of individuals against [a] group of large protein companies. We will continue to fight on behalf of the American consumer and look forward to returning additional money to their pockets.” The firm estimates that this class certification – comprising every American who purchased chicken from a grocery store – may represent the largest class certification in U.S. history.

Read the order granting class certification »

Case Status
Active
Case Caption
In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation
Position
Co-Lead Counsel
Practice Areas
Court
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division
Case Number
16-cv-08637
Defendant(S)
Koch Foods
Tyson
Pilgrim's Pride
Perdue
Sanderson Farms
Wayne Farms
Mountaire Farms
Peco Foods
Foster Farms
House of Raeford Farms
Simmons Foods
Fieldale Farms
George's
O.K. Foods
Claxton Poultry
Harrison Poultry
Mar-Jac Poultry
Agri Stat
File Date

An investigation has revealed that since 2008, major food corporations have illegally increased the price of chicken, forcing millions of U.S. consumers to pay artificially high prices. If you purchased broiler chicken (also known as spring chicken) from any of the suppliers listed below, you may be entitled to your money back:

Koch Foods, Tyson, Pilgrim's Pride, Perdue, Sanderson Farms, Wayne Farms, Mountaire Farms, Peco Foods, Foster Farms, House of Raeford Farms, Simmons Foods, Fieldale Farms, George's, O.K. Foods, Claxton Poultry, Harrison Poultry, Mar-Jac Poultry, Agri Stats.

ABOUT THE CONSPIRACY

This litigation alleges that between 2009 to at least 2019, chicken producers such as Tyson, Perdue and others colluded to knowingly reduce chicken production to artificially inflate prices by nearly 50 percent. The chicken producers engaged in a conspiracy, that the Court has found to be plausible, to share detailed pricing and production information with each other with the intent to increase the price paid by U.S. consumers.

Broiler chickens account for 98 percent of all chicken meat sold in the United States, and the companies involved control 90 percent of the market. Hagens Berman believes that this is a classic conspiracy meant to extract extra profits from hard working Americans.

YOUR CONSUMER RIGHTS

The lawsuit seeks reimbursement for the fraudulent price increases pushed onto consumers. Hagens Berman believes that those who unknowingly paid high prices for chicken deserve compensation for the greed and wrongdoing of these major food corporations.

TOP CONSUMER RIGHTS FIRM

Hagens Berman is one of the most successful consumer litigation law firms in the U.S. and has achieved more than $320 billion in settlements for consumers in lawsuits against food corporations, automakers, big banks and others. Hagens Berman recently won a similar suit against the dairy industry, winning $52 million for purchasers who had been forced to pay artificially high prices. Your claim will be handled by attorneys experienced in consumer law.

NO COST TO YOU

There is no cost or fee whatsoever involved in joining this case. In the event Hagens Berman or any other firm obtains a settlement that provides benefits to class members, the court will decide a reasonable fee to be awarded to the class' legal team. In no case will any class member ever be asked to pay any out-of-pocket sum.

Case Timeline
Title
Court Denies Motion to Dismiss
Description

U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin denied a motion to dismiss the suit from defendants, allowing our case to continue. The judge’s 92-page order upholds state and federal antitrust claims that the defendants worked together to raise the price of chicken. The firm looks forward to the discovery stage, or evidence-gathering stage, of the lawsuit. Read the order »

Case Status
Date
Title
Hagens Berman Named Interim Class Counsel
Description

U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin named Hagens Berman interim class counsel for consumer purchasers, based on the firm's "aggressive and independent advocacy."

Case Status
Date
Title
Settlement with Tyson
Description

Hagens Berman is pleased to announce this first, ice-breaker settlement with the Tyson defendants. Hagens Berman has tirelessly litigated on behalf of the consumer class for nearly five years. This settlement provides significant relief to consumers who were overcharged for a staple of American life – chicken purchased in grocery stores. Hagens Berman and the class representatives in this case will continue to litigate on behalf of consumers against other members of this conspiracy and intend to recover further refunds for consumers. 

Date
Title
Dept. of Justice Slams Pilgrim’s Pride with $107 Million Criminal Fine
Description

A defendant in Hagens Berman’s civil class action, Pilgrim’s Pride, has been hit by the U.S. Department of Justice with a $107 million criminal fine. The DOJ found Pilgrim’s Pride guilty, “for its participation in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for broiler chicken products,” the agency stated. Pilgrim’s Pride, according to the DOJ, pleaded guilty, and involved ongoing work from the FBI to eliminate bid rigging and price fixing. The firm continues to litigate its consumer lawsuit against Pilgrim’s Pride.

Date
Title
Additional $76 Million Settlement Reached
Description

Hagens Berman has reached two additional settlements in the Broilers litigation with Pilgrim’s for $75.5 million and Mar-Jac for $1 million, following icebreaker settlements with Tyson, Fieldale, George’s and Peco. This brings total recovery in the case for the consumer class to $181 million. The firm looks forward to continuing to litigate the case against the remaining 12 defendants in the chicken price-fixing case.

Date
Title
$181 Million in Settlements Preliminarily Approved
Description

The $181 million in total settlements has now received preliminary approval. The claims period is opening, and notice will be beginning to class members in 30 days. For more information about how to file a claim and the claims process, visit overchargedforchicken.com. Claims will be open until Dec. 21, 2022, after which class members will no longer be able to file a claim.

Date

CASE TIMELINE

$181 Million in Settlements Preliminarily Approved

The $181 million in total settlements has now received preliminary approval. The claims period is opening, and notice will be beginning to class members in 30 days. For more information about how to file a claim and the claims process, visit overchargedforchicken.com. Claims will be open until Dec. 21, 2022, after which class members will no longer be able to file a claim.

Additional $76 Million Settlement Reached

Hagens Berman has reached two additional settlements in the Broilers litigation with Pilgrim’s for $75.5 million and Mar-Jac for $1 million, following icebreaker settlements with Tyson, Fieldale, George’s and Peco. This brings total recovery in the case for the consumer class to $181 million. The firm looks forward to continuing to litigate the case against the remaining 12 defendants in the chicken price-fixing case.

Dept. of Justice Slams Pilgrim’s Pride with $107 Million Criminal Fine

A defendant in Hagens Berman’s civil class action, Pilgrim’s Pride, has been hit by the U.S. Department of Justice with a $107 million criminal fine. The DOJ found Pilgrim’s Pride guilty, “for its participation in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for broiler chicken products,” the agency stated. Pilgrim’s Pride, according to the DOJ, pleaded guilty, and involved ongoing work from the FBI to eliminate bid rigging and price fixing. The firm continues to litigate its consumer lawsuit against Pilgrim’s Pride.

Settlement with Tyson

Hagens Berman is pleased to announce this first, ice-breaker settlement with the Tyson defendants. Hagens Berman has tirelessly litigated on behalf of the consumer class for nearly five years. This settlement provides significant relief to consumers who were overcharged for a staple of American life – chicken purchased in grocery stores. Hagens Berman and the class representatives in this case will continue to litigate on behalf of consumers against other members of this conspiracy and intend to recover further refunds for consumers. 

Court Denies Motion to Dismiss

U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin denied a motion to dismiss the suit from defendants, allowing our case to continue. The judge’s 92-page order upholds state and federal antitrust claims that the defendants worked together to raise the price of chicken. The firm looks forward to the discovery stage, or evidence-gathering stage, of the lawsuit. Read the order »

Hagens Berman Named Interim Class Counsel

U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin named Hagens Berman interim class counsel for consumer purchasers, based on the firm's "aggressive and independent advocacy."

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