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Chicken is a staple protein of many people's diets. And now, a newly announced $181 million class-action lawsuit settlement means anyone who purchased chicken from a grocery store in the last decade-plus might be eligible to collect a piece of the pie… meaning a lot of people could be eligible.
On Friday, law firms Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll announced that they had reached a settlement with six chicken producers — Fieldale, George's, Mar Jac, Peco, Pilgrim's, and Tyson — in their Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation lawsuit which alleged price-fixing within the poultry industry (though none of the accused companies have admitted any wrongdoing as part of the agreement). A court still needs to approve the settlement later this year, but claims are already being accepted from eligible consumers.
According to the announcement, eligible claimants include anyone who "purchased fresh or frozen raw chicken (defined as whole birds (with or without giblets), whole cut-up birds purchased within a package, or 'white meat' parts including breasts and wings (or cuts containing a combination of these), but excluding chicken that is marketed as halal, kosher, free range, or organic)," the settlement reads. It applied to chicken "from any of the above brands or their alleged co-conspirators (which includes even more brands) for personal consumption between January 1, 2009, to July 31, 2019 (or until December 31, 2020 for Pilgrim's) in the following states: California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island (after July 15, 2013), South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin.
Granted, as often happens with class action lawsuits, how much money you might be eligible for (and whether it will feel like it was worth your time to file a claim) is still to be determined. However, no proof of purchase is required, making filing a claim in this case easier than most. So if you want to file a claim or at least see if you are eligible head to OverchargedForChicken.com.
Regardless of what happens, though, don't expect your money any time soon: No date has been set for payments while legal action continues, and claims are being accepted until December 31, 2022.