ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Did you buy chicken from 2009 through 2020? Then you may be eligible for a payment from a class action settlement for $181 million. The defendants include Fieldale Farms Corporation, George’s, Mar-Jac Poultry, Peco Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Tyson Foods.
Prosecutors in the Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation allege that several corporations conspired to stabilize the price and supply of chicken, a violation of federal and state consumer antitrust laws.
The law firm representing the plaintiff’s posted notice of the settlement Friday with approval from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. But, the settlements need final approval by the court at a hearing on Dec. 20, 2021, before any money is paid.
Anyone who purchased fresh or frozen raw chicken (excluding meat marketed as halal, kosher, free-range, or organic) within several states is eligible. Those states include California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin.
How much money should you expect?
That figure is still to be determined, depending on how many claimants sign-on and the settlement total being finalized.
As far as the payouts involved, Tyson will pay $99,000,000, Pilgrim’s will pay $75,500,000, George’s will pay $1,900,000, Peco will pay $1,900,000, Fieldale will pay $1,700,000 and Mar-Jac will pay $1,000,000 if the settlements are approved.
While the per-consumer payout isn’t yet known, we do know how much the class action settlement lawyers will get:
“Co-Lead Counsel will seek attorneys’ fees of no more than 33.3% of the Settlement Fund or $60,273,000, and the total amount of costs sought will be no more than $8.75 million. Co-Lead Counsel will also request service awards of up to $2,000 for each of the Class Representatives.”
Everything left after legal fees will be distributed to members of the settlement class.
There are several exceptions to the eligibility. File your claim and check your eligibility by Dec. 31, 2022, at www.overchargedforchicken.com or call 1-877-888-5428.
Tyson, Perdue to pay $35M to settle with chicken farmers
Two of the industry’s biggest poultry companies have agreed to pay nearly $35 million to settle a lawsuit that accused them and several other firms of conspiring to dominate the industry and fix the prices paid to farmers who raise the chickens. Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms agreed to the settlements last week without admitting any wrongdoing while the lawsuit remains pending against several other industry giants, including Pilgrim’s Pride, Koch Foods and Sanderson Farms. The lawsuit says the contract grower system the meat companies created pushed them deep into debt to build and maintain chicken barns that met company standards.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.