Do You Eat Chicken? Class-Action Settlement Could Put Cash in Your Pockets

If you purchased raw or frozen chicken between 2009 and 2020, you may qualify for an unexpected payout. In September 2021, the law offices of Hagens & Berman and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll reached a settlement agreement as a result of the high-profile Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation. This litigation alleged that the country's major chicken-processing companies conspired to limit the supply of chicken to artificially raise prices, constituting a violation of federal and state antitrust laws. On September 10, 2021, the law firms announced a settlement amount of $181 million.

Which Chicken Companies are Involved in the Lawsuit?

According to court filings, the settlement involves the following chicken processors:

  • Pilgrim's Pride Corporation

  • Tyson Foods, Tyson Chicken, Tyson Breeders, and Tyson Poultry

  • Mar-Jac Poultry

  • Peco Foods

  • George's Farms

  • Fieldale Farms Corporation

In addition to the companies that have agreed to settle, there are nearly 25 companies still involved in ongoing litigation. These companies include Perdue Farms, Wayne Farms, Mountaire Farms, and Koch Foods.

Who Can File a Claim in This Settlement?

According to the National Chicken Council (NCC), U.S. residents consumed an average 80 pounds of chicken per person in 2009. In addition, the NCC reported that chicken consumption had increased to nearly 100 pounds per person by 2020. The lawsuit refers to anyone who has purchased chicken directly from the processors or their distributors. Since most purchases of raw or frozen chicken occur at distributors like grocery store, nearly every consumer is eligible. According to the litigation report, any person who purchased chicken between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2020 may qualify for compensation from the companies listed.

Eligible chicken purchases include the following:

  • Fresh or frozen whole chicken (with or without giblets)

  • Whole cut-up poultry purchased within a package

  • White-meat parts such as breasts or wings (or a combination of these items)

It is important to note that poultry labeled as halal, kosher, free-range fowl, or organic chicken does not qualify for the settlement.

Finally, you must also reside in participating states to file a claim in the settlement. States involved in the settlement include the following:

  • Northeastern - Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island

  • Midwestern - Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Nebraska, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, South Dakota

  • Mid-Atlantic - North Carolina and the District of Columbia

  • Southern - Florida, South Carolina

  • Western - California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Oregon, Hawaii

When Should I File My Claim for the Settlement?

According to the litigation report, the settlement is subject to final approval from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The court has scheduled the hearing for December 20, 2021. However, anyone who wishes to participate in the payout has until December 31, 2022 to fill out the required form.

Subject to final approval, court documents reveal that each company has agreed to the following terms:

  • Tyson Payout - $99 million

  • Pilgrim's Payout - $75.5 million

  • George's Payout - $1.9 million

  • Peco Payout - $1.9 million

  • Fieldale Payout - $1.7 million

  • Mar-Jac Payout - $1.0 million

According to court documents, leading counsel on the case have agreed to obtain no more than 33.3% of the settlement fund. Compensation left over after legal fees are eligible for distribution among members of the settlement class. Participants receive their share based on the contact information provided on the form used to join the claim.

To simplify the process, the claims administrator for the Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation has set up an official website called You can also contact the claims administrator at 1-877-888-5428.

How Do I Participate in Similar Class-Action Lawsuits?

Consumers eligible for class-action lawsuits typically receive a notice in the mail. These notices are the result of purchase records or assessment of demographics. In addition, the claims administrator for Hagens & Berman and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll notes that any participants in this settlement will receive automatic notification of future settlements with other defendants unless the participant chooses to opt out. Staying notified of ongoing class-action lawsuits can help ensure that you receive the maximum payout available for your claim.

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