Tuesday, January 19, 2021

JBS to pay $24 million to settle lawsuit alleging it fixed pork prices, one of many similar cases in the meat industry

JBS SA has reached tentative settlement in a 2018 class-action lawsuit alleging that the pork giant and other large meat companies conspired to raise the price of pork.

Under a settlement preliminarily approved by a federal judge in Minnesota last week, "JBS will pay $24 million in monetary relief and agrees to cooperate with the direct purchaser plaintiffs in the case against other pork companies," Todd Neeley reports for DTN/The Progressive Farmer. "Other defendants in the case include Agri Stats Inc., Clemens Food Group LLC, Hormel Foods Corp., Indiana Packers Corp.JBS USASeaboard Foods LLC, Smithfield Foods Inc., Triumph Foods LLC, and Tyson Foods Inc."

The case is "part of a wave of price-fixing cases involving livestock and protein, including chicken, beef, turkey, tuna, salmon, and eggs. Tuna and chicken executives are also facing actual or potential prison time for their roles in the alleged schemes," Mike Leonard reports for Bloomberg Law. "JBS subsidiary Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.—which saw its CEO hit with criminal charges in June—will pay $111 million to resolve a Justice Department probe. It also agreed Jan. 11 to settle the proposed class action for $75 million, and Tyson said the same day it had reached a deal in principle. The beef industry, meanwhile, is contending with two separate federal investigations into its prices."

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