McDonalds and Poultry Products Join Chicken Antitrust Lawsuit Direct Purchaser Class

Two additional plaintiffs, McDonalds and chicken supplier Poultry Products, filed complaints that were quickly transferred into the Northern District of Illinois consolidated matter alleging that chicken processing companies conspired to fix and raise the price of broiler chickens. 

McDonalds is just the latest large name listed among the many plaintiffs who have filed claims, including Target, Chick-fil-A, Walmart, Buffalo Wild Wings, and many more. The fast food chain’s complaint explained that it is filing the claims pursuant to agreements it has with supply companies who are direct purchasers for McDonalds including the HAVI Group, Lopez Foods Inc., Dorada Poultry, and Armada Supply Chain Solutions LLC. Because of this, McDonald’s explained that it is filing as a direct action plaintiff and joining claims already filed on behalf of that putative class.

Poultry Products, including various related entities, also sought to join in the consolidated complaint filed by the direct action plaintiffs.  It also specified that it joins in Section II of the filing.

Both of the new plaintiffs sought a judgment in their favor, treble damages, post-judgment interests, and litigation and attorneys fees. Each of them filed motions on Tuesday seeking to have their case reassigned into the consolidated lawsuit.

Some of the classes and defendants in the consolidated lawsuit have already reached a settlement and are seeking approval from the court. The claims include that multiple chicken processing companies, including Tyson Foods, Sanderson Farms, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Koch Foods, used data transmitted between them through Agri Stats, another defendant, to be able to get more money from producing less chicken. A criminal investigation lawsuit is also being considered in the District of Colorado against some of the defendants over the alleged antitrust conspiracy. 

McDonalds and Poultry Products are both represented by Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP and Cotsirilos, Tighe, Streicker, Poulos & Campbell