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House of Raeford Farms Settles in Washington Chicken Price-Fixing Suit

 |  January 3, 2024

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that House of Raeford Farms, one of the companies implicated in the chicken price-fixing lawsuit, will pay $460,000 to settle legal claims. This settlement comes as part of the ongoing litigation against 19 chicken producers, alleging a widespread illegal conspiracy to manipulate prices, rig contract bids, and coordinate industry supply reductions, all to maximize profits.

House of Raeford Farms, which controls a single-digit percentage of the national market share for chicken, joins the ranks of 15 other companies that have already settled, leaving only two companies, Foster Farms and Wayne-Sanderson Farms, set to face trial in October 2024 in King County Superior Court. Notably, Sanderson Farms and Wayne Farms, initially named separately in the lawsuit, merged following the lawsuit’s filing.

Attorney General Ferguson contends that the actions of House of Raeford Farms and the other chicken producers artificially increased chicken prices since at least 2008, causing consumers to overpay by millions of dollars. The recovered funds, totaling $35.5 million from the first 15 conspirators, are already on their way to Washingtonians. The Attorney General’s Office plans to decide on the allocation of recoveries after concluding the lawsuit against all remaining co-conspirators, prioritizing consumer restitution, cost and fee recovery, and supporting future enforcement efforts.

Related: NY Bus Company Accuses Rivals Of Price-Fixing Scheme

Ferguson emphasized the importance of holding those responsible for corporate greed and illegal price-fixing accountable. He stated, “We are holding accountable those responsible, and getting money back to Washington families who were most harmed. We will continue to serve as a force for economic justice for Washingtonians.”

All companies that have signed resolutions, including House of Raeford Farms, have committed to cooperating with the Attorney General’s Office by providing information and documentation relevant to the ongoing case against the remaining co-conspirators. Additionally, they have entered into legally binding agreements to conduct internal training and certify compliance with state and federal antitrust laws for the next five years. If any of the companies engage in price-fixing or anticompetitive conduct during this period, the Attorney General’s Office reserves the right to seek civil penalties in court.

Source: ATG