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Axler Goldich Represents Businesses Affected by Corporate Misconduct in Artificial Inflation Class Action Lawsuit

On October 28, 2016, the antitrust team at Axler Goldich, with a number of other prominent firms throughout the United States, filed a consolidated amended class action complaint in the Northern District of Illinois alleging anticompetitive conduct in the sale of broiler chickens. Broiler chickens are generally most chickens raised for meat consumption and constitute approximately 98% of all chicken meat sold in the United States.

The plaintiffs, direct purchasers of broiler chickens, allege that beginning in 2008, broiler chicken producers coordinated their efforts to artificially reduce the supply of broiler chickens for sale in the United States, knowing that those supply reductions would increase prices. Defendants coordinated their supply reductions by sharing confidential production information with one another, closing plants, exporting hatching eggs, and destroying their breeder hens.

Indeed, the defendants are alleged to have manipulated production in violation of the Sherman Act by:

  • Breaking the eggs of chickens to limit output, thus increasing demand;
  • Slaughtering broilers—which are used specifically for meat production—earlier than the standard 13 weeks; and
  • Destroying breeder hens used to supply eggs.

As a result of these and other wrongful and anticompetitive actions taken by the defendants, broiler chicken prices have increased nearly 50%.

We at Axler Goldich are determined to hold corporations accountable for their fraudulent and anticompetitive practices. When corporations violate the Sherman Act, as well as other federal and state laws that prohibit monopolies, consumers and businesses alike suffer.

If you purchased Broiler Chickens between 2008 and today from any of the following companies or their subsidiaries, you may have overpaid: Koch Foods, Inc., Tyson Foods, Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, Perdue Farms, Inc., Sanderson Farms, Inc., Wayne Farms, LLC, Mountaire Farms, Inc., Peco Foods, Inc., Foster Farms, LLC, House of Raeford Farms, Inc., Simmons Foods, Inc., Fieldale Farms Corporation, George’s, Inc., or O.K. Foods, Inc.  If you would like to discuss your legal options, contact us online or call our Center City Philadelphia offices at 866-207-2920.