Meat & Livestock News

Supreme Court Declines Involvement in Poultry Price-Fixing Settlement Dispute

The white chicken in a farm

The U.S. Supreme Court has refrained from hearing a pivotal case related to the sharing of settlement agreements in a major price-fixing lawsuit within the poultry industry, according to recent court records.

This development follows an appeals court’s decision in June, which allowed poultry producers to maintain a judgement-sharing agreement (JSA) integral to the In Re Broiler Chicken Antitrust lawsuit. This JSA requires that each participant in the lawsuit receives copies of all settlement agreements.

Central to the lawsuit is a class of chicken buyers who allege that poultry producers have engaged in anticompetitive practices, such as price-fixing, bid-rigging, and sharing of sensitive competitive information.

The plaintiffs contended that the JSA benefits poultry producers by enabling them to review settlement agreements made by other defendants, potentially influencing the settlement amounts in future cases.

Despite the plaintiffs’ appeal for Supreme Court intervention, numerous poultry producers, including Case Farms, Foster Farms, Claxton, Harrison Poultry, House of Raeford Farms, Koch, Mar-Jac, Mountaire, Perdue, Wayne Farms, Tyson Foods, Simmons, Sanderson Farms, and Pilgrim’s Pride, filed a motion in November opposing this review, supporting the appellate court’s earlier ruling.