Do you live in the United States and have purchased chicken in the last 10 years? Unless you’ve been vegetarian or vegan that entire time, I’m going to assume the answer is yes. If so, then you may be eligible for a settlement payment. Here’s why.
Class-Action Lawsuit Against Chicken Producing Companies In America
A group has filed a $181 million class-action lawsuit against a number of American poultry companies. No, it is not a health-related suit nor does it have to do with the conditions of any of their farms. It has to do with the prices they have been charging.
The lawsuit alleges that companies conspired together in order to stabilize both the price and the supply of chicken in the United States from January 2009 to December 2020. This violates both federal and state consumer and antitrust laws. (1) What does this mean for you? Well, likely that you’ve been overpaying for chicken for the last 10 years. That, and the farmers producing have been grossly underpaid. (2)
There are several companies included and several states as well. The companies included in the lawsuit are:
- Fieldale Farms Corporation
- George’s Inc. and George’s Farms, Inc.
- Mar-Jac Poultry, Inc.
- Peco Foods, Inc.
- Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation
- Tyson Foods, Inc., Tyson Chicken, Inc., Tyson Breeders, Inc., and Tyson Poultry, Inc.
There are also specific cuts of meat involved. It is important to note that halal, kosher, free-range, and organic chicken products are not included. The applicable poultry products include:
- whole birds (with or without giblets)
- whole cut-up birds purchased within a package
- “white meat” parts including breasts and wings
- cuts containing a combination of these
The lawsuit also does not include all of the United States. Rather, it outlines specific states where the companies controlled the supply and demand and therefore charged too much for their chicken. The states named in the lawsuit are:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
What Happens Next?
The companies have denied the claims, which is to be expected. Still, they have said that they will pay the lawsuit. Their reason is to avoid any further “expense, inconvenience, disruption, and burden of this litigation,”.
“While Pilgrim’s does not admit any liability for the claims alleged in the Broiler Antitrust Civil Litigation, it believes a settlement was in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders,” said the company. (3)
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois will be holding a hearing on December 20, 2021, to make their decision on whether or not they will approve the settlements. If approved, the first part of the money will go towards court-ordered attorney’s fees and litigation expenses. What is left afterward will be distributed to eligible parties on a pro-rata basis. This will happen after the lawsuit concludes.
If you wish to submit a claim, you can do so at www.overchargedforchicken.com. You can submit a claim and check your eligibility up to December 31, 2022.
- “Bought chicken in the last 10 years? You could be eligible for a settlement payment.” Kmov. Asleigh Jackson. September 15, 2021.
- “Poultry processors Tyson and Perdue to pay $35 million to settle lawsuit with US farmers.” Poultry Site. September 3, 2021
- “Big poultry processor to pay $75 million to resolve antitrust lawsuit.” Fern. Chuck Abbott. January 12, 2021.