HEADS UP! Shoppers Who Bought Chicken in the Last 10 Years Could Be Eligible for a Payout

If you purchased any Chicken product in the United States from January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2020, you may be eligible to receive money from class action Settlements totaling $181 million:

Settlements have been reached in a class action antitrust lawsuit filed on behalf of End-User Consumer Plaintiffs with Defendants: Fieldale Farms Corporation (“Fieldale”); George’s Inc. and George’s Farms, Inc. (“George’s”); Mar-Jac Poultry, Inc., Mar-Jac Poultry MS, LLC, Mar-Jac Poultry AL, LLC, Mar-Jac AL/MS, Inc., Mar-Jac Poultry, LLC, and Mar-Jac Holdings, Inc. (“Mar Jac“); Peco Foods, Inc. (“Peco”); Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (“Pilgrim’s”); and Tyson Foods, Inc., Tyson Chicken, Inc., Tyson Breeders, Inc., and Tyson Poultry, Inc. (“Tyson”) (collectively, “Settling Defendants”). This Court-ordered notice may affect your rights.  Please review and follow the instructions carefully.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois authorized this notice.  Before any money is paid, the Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlements.

Who is Included?

For settlement purposes, members of the Settlement Class are defined as all persons and entities who indirectly purchased fresh or frozen raw chicken (defined as whole birds (with or without giblets), whole cut-up birds purchased within a package, or “white meat” parts including breasts and wings (or cuts containing a combination of these), but excluding chicken that is marketed as halal, kosher, free range, or organic) from Defendants or alleged co-conspirators for personal consumption, where the person or entity purchased in CaliforniaDistrict of Columbia, Florida, HawaiiIllinoisIowaKansasMaineMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMissouriNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaOregonRhode Island (after July 15, 2013), South CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeUtah, and Wisconsin from January 1, 2009 (except for Rhode Island, which is from July 15, 2013), to July 31, 2019, and for Pilgrim’s from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2020.

In addition to the Settling Defendants, the other Defendants in this lawsuit for purposes of this notice include: Agri Stats, Inc. and Claxton Poultry Farms, Inc.; Foster Farms, LLC and Foster Poultry Farms; Harrison Poultry, Inc. and House of Raeford Farms, Inc.; JCG Foods of Alabama, LLC, JCG Foods of Georgia, LLC, Koch Foods, Inc. and Koch Meats Co., Inc.; Mountaire Farms, Inc., Mountaire Farms, LLC, and Mountaire Farms of Delaware, Inc.; O.K. Foods, Inc., O.K. Farms, Inc., and O.K. Industries, Inc.; Perdue Farms, Inc. and Perdue Foods LLC; Sanderson Farms, Inc., Sanderson Farms, Inc. (Foods Division), Sanderson Farms, Inc. (Processing Division), and Sanderson Farms, Inc. (Production Division); Wayne Farms, LLC; and Simmons Foods, Inc. and Simmons Prepared Foods, Inc. (collectively, “Unsettled Defendants”).

If you are not sure if you are included, you can get more information, including a detailed notice, at www.overchargedforchicken.com or by calling toll-free 1-877-888-5428.

What is this Lawsuit About?

This class action, In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation (End-User Consumer Action), N.D. Ill. Case No. 1:16-cv-08637, is pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas M. Durkin presides over this class action.

End-User Consumer Plaintiffs allege that Defendants and their co-conspirators conspired to stabilize the price and supply of chicken, as of January 1, 2009, in violation of federal and state consumer and antitrust laws. The Settling Defendants have not admitted any liability concerning, and continue to deny the legal claims alleged in, this lawsuit, and would allege numerous defenses to the Plaintiffs’ claims if the case against them were to proceed. Nevertheless, the Settling Defendants agreed to settle this action to avoid the further expense, inconvenience, disruption, and burden of this litigation and any other present or future litigation arising out of the facts that gave rise to this litigation, to avoid the risks inherent in uncertain complex litigation and trial, and thereby to put to rest this controversy. The case is still proceeding on behalf of the End-User Consumer Plaintiffs against the Unsettled Defendants who may be subject to separate settlements, judgments, or class certification orders.

What does the Settlement Provide?

Under the terms of the Settlement Agreements, the Settling Defendants will pay a total of $181,000,000 to resolve all Settlement Class claims against them and their affiliates.  In addition to this monetary benefit, the Settling Defendants have also agreed to provide specified cooperation (as set forth in the Settlement Agreements) in the End-User Consumer Plaintiffs’ continued prosecution of the litigation. Co-Lead Counsel may request to delay distribution of Settlement funds if future settlements with additional defendants are reached. Settlement updates will be provided on the Settlement website at www.overchargedforchicken.com or may be obtained by contacting the Claims Administrator.

A portion of the Settlement Proceeds has been and will be used by the Claims Administrator for notice and administration costs. Additionally, Co-Lead Counsel will request that the Court award attorneys’ fees and permit the reimbursement of certain litigation costs and expenses. The request will be filed at least fourteen days before the deadline to object to the Settlements and posted on the website www.overchargedforchicken.com. 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. All Settlement funds that remain after payment of the Court-ordered attorneys’ fees, costs, and litigation expenses will be distributed on a pro rata basis at the conclusion of the lawsuit or as ordered by the Court.

What are your Rights and Options?

Submit a claim online at www.overchargedforchicken.com by December 31, 2022. This deadline may be changed by the Court, and any extended claims deadline will be posted at www.overchargedforchicken.com. If you submit a timely claim, you will automatically be eligible to participate in the distribution of any funds received in future settlements unless you opt out of those future settlements. You do not need to take any action to remain a member of the Settlement Class and be bound by the Settlement Agreements. As a Settlement Class member, you may be able to participate in (or exclude yourself from) any future settlement or judgment obtained by End-User Consumer Plaintiffs against the Unsettled Defendants in the case.

If you do not want to be legally bound by the Settlement Agreements, you must exclude yourself by November 10, 2021, or you will not be able to sue or continue to sue the Settling Defendants or their affiliates for the Released Claims (as defined in the Settlement Agreements).  If you exclude yourself, you can’t get money from the Settlements. If you don’t exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you may still object to the Settlement Agreements by November 10, 2021. The detailed notice explains how to exclude yourself or object. Details may also be found on the FAQs page of the Settlement website. The Court will hold a hearing in this case (In re: Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation (End-User Consumer Action), Case No. 1:16-cv-08637 (N.D. Ill.)) on December 20, 2021, at 9:00 a.m., to consider whether to approve the Settlement Agreements. You may ask to speak at the hearing, but you do not have to.

This notice is only a summary. You can find more details about the Settlements at www.overchargedforchicken.com or by calling toll-free 1-877-888-5428.  Please do not contact the Court.

SOURCE Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC

The post HEADS UP! Shoppers Who Bought Chicken in the Last 10 Years Could Be Eligible for a Payout appeared first on Breaking911.

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