A preliminary settlement agreement was recently announced to end litigation against Tyson Foods and others.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas M. Durkin ruled in favor of preliminary approval of settlement agreements resulting from a class action lawsuit against Tyson Foods Inc., Peco Foods Inc., Fieldale Corp. and George’s Farms Corp. surrender lawsuit argued that the poultry companies “engaged in a conspiracy to suppress chicken production and raise prices in violation of federal and state antitrust and consumer laws”. The complaints against the companies were filed by retailers, consumers and food service companies.
Raw chicken; Image courtesy of RitaE via Pixabay, www.pixabay.com
If the preliminary settlement agreements are finally approved, Fieldale will pay $ 1.7 million, Peco Foods $ 1.9 million, George $ 1.9 million and Tyson $ 99 million for a total of $ 104.5 million -Dollar.
The lawsuit itself was filed with the Federal Supreme Court in 2016. In 2017, a motion to dismiss the case was denied. Since then, “the rigorous discovery has yielded more than eight million documents to plaintiffs’ attorneys, and more than 100 statements have been made about employees of the defendants and third parties.” Negotiations to settle the lawsuit began with Fieldale in September 2017, but could not find a solution. These discussions were resumed in November 2018 and March 2019 “after the removal of Fieldale employees”. Unfortunately, these discussions also fell apart.
The settlement talks were resumed in August 2020. The court documents state:
“These discussions continued at length through October 2020 and included discussions about the collaboration Fieldale could provide in support of the EUCP application for class certification. EUCPs and Fieldale signed a Memorandum of Understanding on October 30, 2020 and signed the final settlement agreement on December 3. 2020. ”
Comparative talks with Peco Foods and George’s began in September 2019. Negotiations continued until February 2020, but no agreement was reached. The settlement talks were resumed in July 2020, and in October 2020 the “EUCPs signed settlement agreements with both defendants”. The settlement talks with Tyson began in January 2020. These negotiations were mediated by Judge Daniel Weinstein (ret.), And in April 2020 “the parties were involved in mediated negotiations but were unable to reach an agreement”. Negotiations continued until July 2020, but again no agreement was reached. Court documents further indicate:
“In December 2020, the parties agreed to continue negotiations with another mediation day moderated by Judge Weinstein. After intensive one-day mediation in mid-January 2021, the parties reached an agreement. The final settlement agreement was signed on February 24, 2021. “
In response to the proposed settlement, Tyson Foods made the following statement:
“(Tyson Foods) believes the settlements have been in the best interests of the company and its shareholders to avoid the uncertainty, risk, cost and distraction of lengthy litigation.”
$ 104 million to resolve consumer claims against poultry companies
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