Have You Bought Chicken Recently? You May Be Eligible to Join This Lawsuit
- Author: Michael Bordonada
- Posted: 2023-05-07
Chicken is one of the most common meats consumed in the United States, so there's a good chance you have probably purchased it recently. Shoppers might be surprised to know that there was a big issue hiding behind their chicken purchase. A massive, $181 million class action lawsuit encourages shoppers around the nation to unite against the poultry industry.
Lawsuit Alleges Massive Price Fixing Scandal
This lawsuit is called the Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation, and it is a lawsuit involving poultry prices. It dates back to 2009 and involves an extremely broad range of poultry producers. According to the claimants, multiple chicken producers conspired together to restrict chicken supplies and increase the cost of chicken.
The lawsuit points a finger at many major manufacturers, including Pilgrim's Pride Corporations, Tyson Foods, Inc., Perdue Foods, and Sanderson Farms. These chicken producers sell poultry to a variety of major stores, such as Walmart, Chick-fil-A, and Kroger. Unfortunately, there is a lot of evidence that suggests the producers were acting together to fix the prices of chicken.
Who Is Eligible for Compensation?
The class action lawsuit includes a wide pool of claimants. Anyone who has bought fresh or frozen raw chicken starting in January of 2009 and ending in December of 2020 may be eligible. The lawsuit is specifically for those who purchased whole chickens, chicken breasts, or chicken wings. However, any chicken that was free range, halal, kosher, or organic does not qualify for the lawsuit.
Furthermore, there are also some residency requirements. The lawsuit is only open to people who were a resident in one of the follow regions at the time of their purchase: California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington D.C., or Wisconsin.
In order to qualify for compensation, you will also need to submit a claim. The class action lawsuit does not automatically send money to all chicken purchasers. Instead, only those who submit an online claim with the lawsuit by December 31, 2022 will be able to get compensation.
Poultry Producers Settled After U.S. Department of Justice Intervened
Right now, the scandal is in the news due to lawsuits on behalf of consumers. However, lawsuit settlements might not be the only consequence the producers face. The U.S. The Department of Justice has also intervened in the case and charged over 10 poultry production employees with antitrust violations.
If the producers are found guilty of price fixing, they can end up with very serious punishments. Under the Sherman Antitrust Act, individuals can face 10 years in prison and $1 million fines. Corporations can face $100 million fines as well. Due to the inclusion of antitrust charges, the poultry producers decided to settle.
In a statement recently released, they emphasize that they are not admitting guilt or acknowledging liability. However, they wish to settle so that they can avoid any extra inconvenience, legal fees, or disruptions. Though the $181 million settlement might sound massive, it will benefit the corporation by preventing any more harmful evidence from coming to light.
How to File a Claim
If you are interested in getting compensation, start by visiting the official claim filing website at https://overchargedforchicken.com/. The website will walk you through a brief questionnaire to determine if you are eligible for compensation. It also provides you with other options. If you are not satisfied with the current class action lawsuit, the website provides you with the option of requesting an exclusion. This keeps you out of the current settlement, so you can file a claim of your own later on.
If you do decide to file a claim, the steps are quite simple. You will just need to provide some brief contact information and explain how much money you have spent on chicken during the period of the lawsuit. Once you submit the claim and sign electronically, you just have to wait for the rest of the settlement details to be finalized. Submitting a claim does not require you to go to court or otherwise provide any other information.
In general, class action lawsuits are a great way for a bunch of consumers to hold a larger corporation responsible. Though the exact amount of compensation each person will get is not determined yet, participants could expect a promising payout.