October 09, 2019

A Maryland federal judge on Wednesday granted a bid by ex-chicken producer employees to consolidate related cases in a proposed class action accusing chicken processing companies of a decadelong conspiracy to fix the wages of hundreds of thousands of workers.

U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher also appointed three law firms to serve as interim co-lead counsel: Handley Farah & Anderson PLLC, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.

The first suit was filed in August by two former Tyson employees and a third person who used to work at George's Inc., naming dozens of major poultry processors such as Pilgrim's Pride Corp., Sanderson Farms Inc. and Koch Foods LLC, which they say control 90% of processed chicken production in the U.S. and rake in more than $30 billion annually.

The plaintiffs are represented by Matthew K. Handley, George F. Farah and William A. Anderson of Handley Farah & Anderson PLLC, Daniel A. Small, Benjamin D. Brown, Brent W. Johnson and Alison S. Deich of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, and Steven W. Berman, Breanna Van Engelen, Shana E. Scarlett and Rio R. Pierce of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.

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