03/08/24 | Hagens Berman Files Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlements with JBS & Tyson with a Combined Value of $138.5 Million
Hagens Berman filed a motion for preliminary approval of a settlement with JBS valued at $55 million and a settlement with Tyson valued at $72.5 million. If approved by the court, these settlements would bring the total recovery for class members to date to $138.5 million. The motion states that “…the Settlement Agreements also contain meaningful cooperation terms that will help Plaintiffs to prosecute their antitrust claims against the remaining Defendants.” The firm continues to pursue antitrust litigation against other red meat processing companies.


Have you worked for a major red meat processing company since January 2014? Your wages were likely lower due to an alleged wage-fixing agreement between the nation’s biggest meat processing companies. Fill out the form to find out your rights »

Case Status
Motion to Dismiss Denied (In Full or in Part)
U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
Case Number
Agri Beef Co.
Agri Stats
American Foods Group
Greater Omaha Packing
Indiana Packers
National Beef
Nebraska Beef
Quality Pork Processors
Rochelle Foods
Seaboard Foods
Washington Beef
File Date

Hagens Berman filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit against JBS, Tyson, Hormel, Smithfield, Perdue and many other of the nation's largest meat processing companies for what attorneys believe to be a yearslong wage-fixing agreement, causing employees to receive far less for their work than legally owed. The law firm has already secured $195 million in settlements for workers in the poultry processing industry and hopes to recover losses for those working in this adjacent area.


Those affected include hundreds of thousands of non-managerial employees who have occupied various positions along processing lines, including slaughtering and aging, cutting and further processing, repairing processing machines, and supervising processing lines.

This class-action lawsuit pertains to many red meat processing companies, and our firm is actively seeking to hear from those who have been employed, or are currently employees, at one of the following meat processors or at Agri Stats:

  • Agri Beef Co.
  • Agri Stats
  • American Foods Group
  • Cargill
  • Greater Omaha Packing
  • Hormel
  • Indiana Packers
  • JBS
  • National Beef
  • Nebraska Beef
  • Perdue
  • Quality Pork Processors 
  • Rochelle Foods
  • Seaboard
  • Smithfield
  • Triumph
  • Tyson
  • Washington Beef


Since 2014, many red meat processing companies allegedly conspired to fix and depress compensation paid to production and maintenance employees at meat processing plants in violation of federal law. 

Together the companies named in this lawsuit produce roughly 80% of the red meat sold in the U.S., and own and operate approximately 140 red meat processing plants in the continental United States. These processors employ hundreds of thousands of individuals who work hard to help supply the food that many Americans eat.

We believe these companies collectively suppressed wages and employment benefits based on a calculated system, stifling competition across similar places of employment and positions within the red meat processing industry, all to increase overall profits.

The lawsuit states: “Defendant Processors engaged in the conspiracy to increase their profits by reducing labor costs, which comprise a substantial share of each Defendant Processor’s total operating costs. The intended and actual effect of Defendants’ conspiracy to fix compensation has been to reduce and suppress the wages, salaries, and benefits paid to Class Members…”


The lawsuit highlights several specific methods that meat processing companies used to collectively suppress wages:

  • Conducting secret meetings that excluded parties not involved in the conspiracy
  • Engaging in secretive communications, avoiding written records
  • Exchanging competitively sensitive compensation data through a non-public, proprietary system
  • Using third-party companies that intentionally operate under the public’s radar – Webber, Meng, Sahl & Company Inc. and Agri Stats – to exchange sensitive compensation data
  • Instituting “give-data-to-get-data” requirements so that no company could access sensitive compensation data exchanges unless it provided data of its own
  • Concealing compensation surveys and their results to hide this information from parties not involved in the scheme


Hagens Berman believes that employees at hundreds of red meat processing plants have been cheated in wages and benefits, and we intend to fight to recover their alleged losses. When employers cooperate to stifle employee pay for the sake of their profits, workers always lose, and we’re here to challenge what we believe is illegal wage-fixing.

Under federal antitrust law, the Sherman Act, your wages as an employee are protected under law that prohibits agreements that stifle competition and lead to (in this case) lower wages within a single industry or area of work.


Hagens Berman is one of the most successful employment and antitrust litigation law firms in the U.S. and has achieved more than $320 billion in settlements for consumers in lawsuits against big banks, technology corporations, automakers and others. Hagens Berman has achieved many monumental settlements in antitrust suits, including in wage-fixing matters affecting the poultry processing industry where our pending litigation has already achieved $195 million in settlements for workers. Your claim will be handled by attorneys experienced in employment and antitrust law.


There is no cost or fee whatsoever involved in joining this investigation. 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 legal team. In no case will any class member ever be asked to pay any out-of-pocket sum.


Court Preliminarily Approves Three Settlements and a Cooperation Agreement Totaling $11.25 Million with Perdue, Seaboard and Triumph and Webber, Meng, Sahl and Company 

A federal judge granted preliminary approval to three settlement agreements and a cooperation agreement totaling $11.25 million in the lawsuit over alleged wage-fixing in the red meat processing industry: with Perdue Farms, Seaboard Foods, Triumph Foods, and another with Webber, Meng, Sahl and Company Inc. (WMS), a compensation-consulting firm which Plaintiffs alleged helped Defendants exchange competitively sensitive compensation data. The court also preliminarily approved a cooperation agreement with Triumph Foods.

In the order, Judge Philip A. Brimmer also certified settlement classes consisting of Perdue, Seaboard and Triumph workers employed at beef- and pork-processing plants since Jan. 1, 2014. The class is estimated to include tens of thousands of workers at plants around the country. The court also appointed Hagens Berman co-lead counsel for the settlement classes. The order states, “There are no questions regarding the competency of the proposed class counsel or their ability to prosecute this action…[they] have shown that they can vigorously litigate on behalf of the class.”

Class members will be able to start making claims after the court approves the proposed settlement notice and the notice period begins. Payment of approved settlement claims will not go out until the court grants final approval of the settlement, which, at the earliest, would happen following a final approval hearing. A final approval hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Motion to Dismiss Denied

U.S. District Judge Philip A. Brimmer denied defendants’ motion to dismiss, upholding claims against JBS USA Food Co., Cargill Inc., Tyson Foods Inc. and other red meat processing companies. Judge Brimmer found that the proposed class of meat processing plant workers had plausibly alleged Sherman Act violations of antitrust behavior and wage suppression. Judge Brimmer also rejected arguments from individual companies, like Smithfield Foods and Hormel, which also attempted to escape the lawsuit.

Settlement Reached with Seaboard and Triumph

Hagens Berman has reached a $10 million settlement agreement with Seaboard Foods and a cooperation agreement with Triumph Foods in its suit alleging the companies and others conspired to depress wages in the red meat processing industry.

The settlement class will encompass all persons employed by Seaboard or its subsidiaries between Jan. 1, 2014, and the preliminary approval date of the settlement. Triumph has agreed to provide documents and information to be used as evidence in proceedings against the other defendants. Read the Motion for Preliminary Approval »

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