While Fieldale is offering to settle, it is not admitting guilt as a part of the settlement. However, the company has offered to provide industry reports, phone records and other documets to plaintiffs’ attoeneys, and would make five current of former employees available for interviews or depositions, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The proposed settlement is to be reviewed by a judge this week.
The case dates back almost a year, when the law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP filed a suit that alleges 14 poultry companies, including Fieldale Farms, killed chickens and destroyed eggs to limit production and raise the price of chicken sold in the United States. Other companies named in the lawsuit include Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s, Sanderson Farms, Simmons Foods, Koch Foods, JCG Foods, Wayne Farms, Mountaire Farms, Peco Foods, Foster Farms, House of Raeford Farms, O.K. Foods and George’s.
Most companies that have issued statements concerning the lawsuit have stated that they have not done anything wrong, such as Tyson Foods. Tyson CEO Tom Hayes earlier this year said it was a “baseless case.”
“We feel like it’s plaintiff’s lawyers really grasping at straws at this moment,” he said.
Headquartered in Baldwin, Georgia, Fieldale Farms is the 15th largest broiler company in the United States. According to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, it produced 16 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken on a weekly basis in 2016.
Fieldale Farms Offers to Pay $2.25 Million to Settle Chicken-Pricing Lawsuit
A Georgia chicken company has offered to settle a lawsuit that accused the chicken industry of colluding to keep meat prices artificially high.