Grabar Law Office is investigating potential claims on behalf of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (NASDAQ: PPC) shareholders. The investigation concerns whether certain officers and directors of Pilgrim’s Pride have breached their fiduciary duties owed to the company.

As stated in Pilgrim's Pride's recently filed 10Q on April 27, 2023, Pilgrim's Pride has been subject to litigation including as follows:


Between September 2, 2016 and October 13, 2016, a series of federal class action lawsuits were filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (“Illinois Court”) PPC and other defendants by and on behalf of direct and indirect purchasers of broiler chickens alleging violations of antitrust and unfair competition laws and styled as In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 1:16-cv-08637 (“Broiler Antitrust Litigation”).

The complaints seek, among other relief, treble damages for an alleged conspiracy among defendants to reduce output and increase prices of broiler chickens from the period of January 2008 to the present. The class plaintiffs have filed three consolidated amended complaints: the direct purchasers (“Broiler DPPs”), the commercial and institutional indirect purchasers (“Broiler CIIPPs”), and the end-user consumer indirect purchasers (“Broiler EUCPs”).

Between December 8, 2017 and September 1, 2021, 82 individual direct action complaints were filed with the Illinois Court by individual direct purchaser entities (“Broiler DAPs”) naming PPC as a defendant, the allegations of which largely mirror those in the class action complaints, though some added allegations of price fixing and bid rigging on certain sales. The Illinois Court issued a revised scheduling order for certain plaintiffs who limited their claims to reduction of output, which sets the first trial date on September 12, 2023. The schedule for the rest of the plaintiffs is still awaiting an order from the Illinois Court.

On May 27, 2022, the Illinois Court certified each of the three classes. PPC has entered into agreements to settle all claims made by the Broiler DPPs, Broiler CIIPPs, and Broiler EUCPs, for an aggregate total of $195.5 million, each of which has received final approval from the Illinois Court. PPC continues to defend itself against the Broiler DAPs as well as parties that have opted out of the class settlements (collectively, the “Broiler Opt Outs”). PPC will seek reasonable settlements where they are available. To date, PPC has recognized an expense of $514.4 million to cover settlements with various Broiler Opt Outs. PPC recognized these settlement expenses in Selling, general and administrative expense (“SG&A expense”) in the Consolidated Statements of Income.

Between August 30, 2019 and October 16, 2019, a series of purported class action lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (“Maryland Court”) against PPC and a number of other chicken producers, as well as Webber, Meng, Sahl & Company and Agri Stats. The plaintiffs are a putative class of poultry processing plant production and maintenance workers (“Poultry Workers Class”) and styled as Jien, et al. v. Perdue Farms, Inc., et al., No. 19-cv-02521 allege that the defendants conspired to fix and depress the compensation paid to Poultry Workers Class in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Defendants moved to dismiss on December 18, 2020, which the Maryland Court denied on March 10, 2021. On June 14, 2021, PPC entered into an agreement to settle all claims made by the Poultry Workers Class for $29.0 million, though the agreement is still subject to final approval by the Maryland Court.

On February 16, 2022, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, which extended the relevant period, added defendants, and included additional workers in the class. PPC recognizes these settlement expenses within SG&A expense in the Consolidated Statements of Income. On January 27, 2017, a purported class action on behalf of broiler chicken farmers was brought against PPC and other chicken producers in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma (the “Oklahoma Court”) alleging, among other things, a conspiracy to reduce competition for grower services and depress the price paid to growers. The complaint was consolidated with several subsequently filed consolidated amended class action complaints and styled as In re Broiler Chicken Grower Litigation, Case No. CIV-17-033. The defendants (including PPC) jointly moved to dismiss the consolidated amended complaint, which the Oklahoma Court denied as to PPC and certain other defendants. PPC, therefore, continues to litigate against the putative class plaintiffs.

On October 20, 2016, Patrick Hogan, acting on behalf of himself and a putative class of certain PPC stockholders, filed a class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (“Colorado Court”) against PPC and its named executive officers styled as Hogan v. Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, et al., No. 16-CV-02611 (“Hogan Litigation”). The complaint alleges, among other things, that PPC’s SEC filings contained statements that were rendered materially false and misleading by PPC’s failure to disclose that (1) PPC colluded with several of its industry peers to fix prices in the broiler chicken market as alleged in the Broilers Litigation, (2) its conduct constituted a violation of federal antitrust laws, and (3) PPC’s revenues during the class period were the result of illegal conduct. On July 31, 2020, defendants filed a motion to dismiss, which the Colorado Court granted on April 19, 2021. On May 17, 2021, the plaintiff filed a motion for amended judgment, which the Colorado Court denied on November 29, 2021. The plaintiff then filed a notice of appeal on December 28, 2021, and the appeal was opened in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which is now fully briefed, including oral argument on January 17, 2023, and is awaiting a decision.

U.S. State Matters

From February 21, 2017 through May 4, 2021, the Attorneys General for multiple U.S. states have issued civil investigative demands (“CIDs”). The CIDs request, among other things, data and information related to the acquisition and processing of broiler chickens and the sale of chicken products. PPC is cooperating with the Attorneys General in these states in producing documents pursuant to the CIDs. On September 1, 2020, February 22, 2021, and October 28, 2021, the Attorneys General in New Mexico (State of New Mexico v. Koch Foods, et al., D-101-CV-2020-01891), Alaska (State of Alaska v. Agri Stats, Inc., et al., 3AN-21-04632), and Washington (State of Washington v. Tyson Foods Inc., et al., 21- 2-14174-5), respectively, filed complaints against PPC based on allegations similar to those asserted in the Broiler Antitrust Litigation. PPC has answered all of the complaints and each case is now in discovery. On March 9, 2023, PPC entered into an agreement to settle all claims made by the State of Washington for $11.0 million.

U.S. Federal Matters

On February 9, 2022, the Company learned that the DOJ opened a civil investigation into human resources antitrust matters, and on October 6, 2022, the Company learned that the DOJ opened a civil investigation into grower contracts and payment practices. The Company is cooperating with the DOJ in its investigations. The DOJ has informed the Company that it is likely to file a civil complaint pursuant to at least one of these investigations.

Recent alleged antitrust violations have resulted in over $749 million in payments made by PPC.

More recent allegations and investigations by the DOJ and private antitrust enforcers center around suppression of wages and payments to workers with limited resources.

On February 9, 2022, Pilgrim’s Pride learned that the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) opened a civil investigation into human resources antitrust matters.  Specifically, it has been reported that this investigation centers around whether Pilgrim’s Pride engaged in anticompetitive sharing about employment practices that held down plant workers’ wages.

On October 6, 2022, Pilgrim’s Pride learned that the DOJ opened a civil investigation into Pilgrim’s Pride’s grower contracts and payment practice.  It is alleged that Pilgrim’s Pride illegally agreed to share detailed data on grower compensation with other processors, with the purpose and effect of artificially depressing compensation to growers.

Most recently, Pilgrim's Pride's majority shareholder, JBS, announced that it had to terminate a 19-year contract with a cleaning company that unlawfully employed child labor at two Pilgrim's Pride facilities where children aged 13-17 were tasked to clean dangerous equipment with caustic chemicals during overnight shifts.

Current long-term Pilgrim’s Pride shareholders may be able to seek corporate reforms, the return of funds back to company coffers, and a court approved incentive award if appropriate. $PPC

If you would like to learn more at no cost to you, you are encouraged to contact us at or call Joshua Grabar at 267-507-6085.


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