JBS to pay $20 million in pork price-fixing settlement


By Josh Funk, Associated Press

via The Washington Post - September 19, 2022


OMAHA, Neb. — JBS has agreed to pay $20 million to settle a lawsuit with consumers that accused the giant meat producer of conspiring with other meat companies to inflate the price of pork, which will only reinforce some of the ongoing concerns about how the lack of competition in the industry affects prices.


A federal judge in Minnesota approved the latest settlement in these price-fixing lawsuits last week. But the judge also ruled that nearly $7 million of the settlement will go to the plaintiffs’ lawyers for their work in the case. It’s not clear yet how much individual consumers who bought pork between 2009 and last year might receive out of the remaining $13 million.


This pork lawsuit is one of several price-fixing lawsuits making their way through the courts. Meat producers have also been accused of inflating beef and chicken prices, and several multimillion-dollar settlements have been announced in those cases. The meat companies have defended their pricing practices even though there have been a number of settlements in these cases.


Previously, JBS agreed to pay restaurants and caterers $12.75 million as part of a different settlement in this pork lawsuit, and Smithfield Foods agreed to pay two different groups of pork purchasers $83 million and $42 million in two different settlements in the case...


... The pork lawsuit remains pending against other major producers including Hormel and Tyson Foods and the Agri Stats database company they allegedly used to share confidential information about price, capacity and demand. JBS agreed to cooperate with the case against those other companies as part of the settlement...


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JBS USA settles latest pork price-fixing lawsuit


By Ryan McCarthy, Meat+Poultry



MINNEAPOLIS – Recent court documents confirmed that JBS USA reached a $20 million settlement regarding a recent pork price-fixing case dealing with consumers.


Judge John R. Tunheim of the US District Court of Minnesota shared that $6.6 million would be paid in plaintiff attorney fees that will come from the common fund, and another $300,000 in reimbursement will go to attorneys’ costs.


During 2021, JBS reached a $24.5 million agreement over price-fixing allegations with wholesalers and a $20 million agreement in this case. In November of last year, Tunheim approved a $12.75 million between the company and Commercial and Institutional Indirect Purchaser Plaintiffs (CIIPS).


Tunheim also approved an $83 million settlement with Smithfield Foods Inc. earlier in 2021 related to the ongoing pork litigation. 


The initial lawsuits in 2018 accused major US meatpackers of collectively raising pork prices and exchanging detailed sensitive information through Agri Stats…