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Tyson Files To Stop Arbitration With Costco In Chicken Antitrust Suit

 |  February 20, 2022

Tyson Foods filed a complaint in the Western District of Washington against Costco Wholesale Corporation seeking a declaration that Tyson has not agreed to arbitrate claims brought by Costco.

According to the complaint, Tyson is a Delaware corporation engaged in the business of supplying broiler chicken products in the United States, reported Law Street Media.

The complaint further states that on September 2, 2016, a class action lawsuit was filed against Tyson, three of its affiliates, more than a dozen broiler chicken producers and a benchmarking service called Agri Stats, Inc., in the Northern District of Illinois.The complaint purports that the case, In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation, is still pending, but in January 2020, Tyson reached a settlement agreement with plaintiffs classified as direct purchases, like Costco. 

Tyson states that Costco was not an original class member in the In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation case nor part of the January 2020 settlement agreement.
Related: Tyson Drafts Deal With Consumers In Chicken Cartel Case

The complaint alleges that on December 10, 2021, Costco submitted a demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) against Tyson that substantively mirrors the overarching conspiracy claim in In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation. Tyson alleges that Costco premised its right to arbitrate the claim on a two-page, fully-executed “Vendor Agreement” dated August 24, 1995 and an unsigned document titled “Costco Wholesale Standard Terms (2019) (U.S. and its Territories)” that makes no mention of Tyson.

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