JBS to pay $20 million in pork price-fixing settlement

JBS has agreed to pay $20 million to settle a lawsuit that alleges the meat packer engaged in price-fixing to increase the price of pork.  Of the settlement, $13 million will go to consumers and about $7 million is allocated to cover attorney fees and costs.  The judge approved the deal last week and calls the agreement “fair and reasonable”.

JBS had previously agreed to pay nearly $13 million for indirect purchasers like restaurants and another $24.5 million to direct purchasers in a different settlement agreement.  The judge had also previously approved a settlement of $42 million for purchasers, like restaurants, with Smithfield.  Smithfield also agreed to pay $83 million to direct purchasers.   

The pork lawsuit is one of several price-fixing lawsuits that have put meat and poultry producers on the hot seat.  Beef and poultry processors have also been accused of inflating beef and chicken prices. 

Neither company has admitted wrongdoing and the suits cover purchases between 2009 and 2021.  It is still unclear how much individual consumers might receive. 

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