Price-Fixing Case Dropped Against Perdue, Other Chicken Producers

March 8, 2024
A group of distributors dropped their seven-year pursuit of damages after alleging producers conspired to keep wholesale prices artificially high.

A long-running lawsuit alleging chicken price-fixing against Perdue, Sanderson, Claxton Poultry and other chicken producers was unceremoniously dropped this week in a Chicago federal court, resulting in no payouts after seven years of litigation.

The distributor plaintiffs -- including Maplevale Farms in New York, John Gross & Co. in Pennsylvania and Ferraro Foods of New Jersey – claimed a multi-year conspiracy by major suppliers to keep wholesale prices artificially high by curbing production and sharing nonpublic data about supply and demand.

The distributors earlier won $285 million in settlements from Tyson and Pilgrim’s Pride, according to Reuters. But last October, Sanderson defeated the distributors’ allegations at trial, and Perdue and a group of other companies won a court order in June knocking them out of the case. The plaintiffs were in the process of challenging those results.

The food distributors said in court filings that overturning their losses would be a "significant" challenge and that the potential costs the defendants could seek against the plaintiffs were “substantial."

As a result of their withdrawal, Perdue, Sanderson and other defendants said they would not seek to recoup defense costs from the plaintiffs.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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