Chicken Buyers Get Class Cert. In Sprawling Price-Fixing Suit

By Dorothy Atkins (May 27, 2022, 8:37 PM EDT) -- An Illinois federal judge on Friday certified classes of direct purchasers, indirect purchasers and end-user consumers in a sprawling antitrust lawsuit alleging more than a dozen major broiler chicken producers, including Sanderson Farms Inc. and Perdue Foods, conspired to limit chicken production to boost prices.

In a 55-page order, U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin certified the classes and refused to exclude multiple expert opinions supporting the certification requests. In his reasoning, the judge noted that the experts' evidence shows broiler chicken production rate increased steadily for years, but dropped in 2009 and 2012.

"This unusual decrease in production indicates the...

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