JUNEAU, ALASKA – On March 5, the state of Alaska’s Department of Law announced it filed a $1 billion lawsuit against 21 companies in the latest broiler price-fixing chicken lawsuit.
“A cartel of corporate chicken supplier conglomerates has secretly engaged in a vast, illegal conspiracy to restrain production, manipulate pricing, and rig bids in order to artificially inflate the price of broiler chicken throughout the United States, including in the State of Alaska,” the lawsuit stated.
Many lawsuits have been filed against the poultry industry regarding accusations of driving up chicken prices and cutting supply from 2008 to 2016.
In the Alaska lawsuit, the state asked for civil penalties up to $50 million against each defendant. The lawsuit also is looking for damages, restitution, attorney fees and costs.
Some poultry processors named as defendants in the suit include Tyson Foods Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., Amick Farms, Case Farms, Claxton Poultry, Fieldale Farms, Foster Farms, George’s, Harrison Poultry, House of Raeford Farms, Koch Foods, Mar-Jac Poultry, Mountaire Farms, OK Foods, Peco Foods, Perdue Farms, Sanderson Farms, Simmons Foods and Wayne Farms.
Two of the largest poultry producers recently settled other price fixing litigation. Tyson Foods reached a $221.5 million agreement with three groups of plaintiffs in January 2021.
In February 2021, Pilgrim’s Pride, a subsidiary of JBS SA, pleaded guilty to charges of price fixing and was ordered to pay a fine of $107 million.