Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Yet another poultry price-fixing lawsuit

Washington State’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit against 19 poultry processors for price fixing.

Ferguson is charging Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, Sanderson Farms, Koch Foods, Mountaire Farms, Wayne Farms and other large processors of inflating and manipulating prices, rigging contract bids and coordinating industry supply reductions from 2008 to the present day.

Ferguson’s lawsuit mirrors the allegations of a similar lawsuit in Illinois which prompted Tyson to pay $221.5 million and Pilgrim’s Pride to pay $75 million in out-of-court settlements.

A number of poultry executives have been indicted for price fixing, with that trial getting underway this week in Denver.

Ferguson’s case has been filed on behalf of the 90 per cent of Washington consumers who purchase poultry products from the named processors, along with Washington businesses, colleges, hospitals and nursing homes.

“If you’ve eaten chicken in the last decade, this conspiracy touched your wallet,” Ferguson said in a statement. 

Altogether, Ferguson is seeking “millions” in restitution for Washington residents and in civil penalties.