Pilgrim’s Pride Joins Tyson in Settling Kroger, AGS Complaints

In a order issued on Monday, Pilgrim’s Pride joined Tyson Foods in resolving some of the claims against it in In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation. Much like in last week’s order, claims brought directly by grocery chains Kroger and Associated Grocers of the South (AGS) have settled after nearly three years.

Kroger’s original complaint alleged that meatpacking giant Pilgrim’s Pride and the other seventeen defendant companies conspired to keep pricing of broiler chickens – those chickens bred for meat production – high. At the center of the alleged conspiracy is Agri Stats, an information sharing company that allows the industry to monitor their competitors through benchmark reports. The same system is at the center of other food production antitrust cases, including in the pork industry.

The news comes on the heel of a similar resolution for claims brought by Kroger and AGS against Tyson Foods. Those claims were dismissed last week, in an order largely resembling Monday’s.

In more recent news, another tranche of plaintiffs – the End-User Consumer Plaintiffs – showed their intent to proceed on a “track one” trial on Tuesday, citing a prior court statement that plaintiffs seeking trial on claims not requiring discovery for bid rigging would receive priority. These plaintiffs noted that they have been litigating for five years and confirmed that they solely are interested in pursuing market manipulation claims. This tranche has settled with many of the defendants, but is seeking an expedited trial for the remainder.

Kroger was represented by Kenny Nachwalter P.A., AGS by Sherrand Roe Voight & Harbinson, PLC and Sperling & Slater, PLC, and Pilgrim’s Pride by Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.