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Minnesota Federal Judge Upholds Ruling in Pork Industry Antitrust Case

 |  June 6, 2024

A federal judge in Minnesota has upheld a previous ruling, denying the motion by Sysco Corporation and Carina Ventures to substitute Carina as the plaintiff in an ongoing pork industry antitrust lawsuit.

The motion faced strong opposition from pork producers, who raised concerns about Carina’s potential for aggressive litigation tactics and reluctance to settle claims of price-fixing among major processors.

Sysco and Carina’s parent company, Burford Capital, had been covering Sysco’s legal fees in the pork industry lawsuit. However, internal disputes led to mutual lawsuits between Sysco and Burford, which were subsequently dropped. Despite the internal conflicts, Sysco and Carina pursued similar substitution motions in poultry and beef antitrust cases.

In July, pork producers voiced their objections to the substitution, fearing Carina’s aggressive approach and potential hesitation to resolve claims that leading pork processors had conspired to fix prices.

The Minnesota judge’s decision highlighted concerns over legal procedure violations and the potential impact of a profit-driven financier on the litigation. This stance contrasts sharply with a decision made in Illinois in March, where a similar substitution was permitted in a poultry antitrust case.

Read more: Judge Blocks Sysco’s Bid to Assign Price-Fixing Claims to Burford Capital

The ruling in Minnesota underscores the complexities and strategic maneuvers involved in major antitrust litigation within the meat industry.

Source: Swine Web