Federal judge rules to consolidate pork price fixing cases

A federal judge ruled to consolidate cases involving class action lawsuits against the nation’s largest pork producers on allegations of price fixing.

Minnesota District Court Judge John Tunheim ruled to consolidate 27 cases involving 146 parties, according to court filings.

Tunheim had been receiving cases involving antitrust matters against the leading meat producers since 2018.

The cases involve names like Tyson Foods, National Beef Packing Company, Swift Beef, JBS, Cargill and many more.

The decision was made in the best interest of all parties involved and due to the cases being identical, the judge wrote in his ruling.

“Consolidation will reduce the problems posed by having the cases on separate dockets while addressing both similar and identical issues on each docket,” Tunheim wrote. “The parties and the Court will generally need to only file in one centralized place and will not have to deal with making minor changes to satisfy the different case numbers. The parties, affected nonparties, and the Court will generally need only follow developments on one unified docket.”

The cases are filed under 0:2018cv01776 and named “In Re: Pork Antitrust Litigation.”

In October, Tunheim signed off on Smithfield Foods’ $42 million settlement with foodservice operators that alleged the company and other processors conspired to inflate pork prices.

One month prior, the judge approved a settlement between JBS USA and several pork industry defendants to the tune of $20 million.

Source:  Meatingplace.com (Author Chris Moore)