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In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litig.

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

November 20, 2017, Decided; November 20, 2017, Filed

No. 16 C 86371


 [*779]  Memorandum Opinion and Order

Defendants are industrial producers of chicken meat. Plaintiffs are three putative classes of businesses and individuals who purchased chicken from Defendants, either directly or indirectly, for resale, business, or personal use, between 2008 and 2016. Plaintiffs allege that during that time period Defendants conspired to fix chicken prices higher than the market would naturally support, in violation of the Sherman Act § 1 and state law. Defendants have moved to dismiss [**27]  for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See R. 279; R. 292.2 For the following reasons, the motions are denied to the extent that Plaintiffs' Sherman Act claims survive, at least one state law claim survives in every jurisdiction except for Arkansas, and none of the defendants are dismissed from the case entirely. The motion addressing Plaintiffs' state law claims, R. 292, is granted in part in that all claims under Wisconsin law are dismissed.

Legal Standard

A Rule 12(b)(6) motion challenges the sufficiency of the complaint. See, e.g., Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of Police of Chi. Lodge No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir. 2009). A complaint must provide "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief," Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), sufficient to provide defendant with "fair notice" of the claim and the basis for it. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929 (2007). This standard "demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 173 L. Ed. 2d 868 (2009). While "detailed factual allegations" are not required, "labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. The complaint must "contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "'A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads [**28]  factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.'" Mann v. Vogel, 707 F.3d 872, 877 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). In applying this standard, the Court accepts all well-pleaded facts as true and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Mann, 707 F.3d at 877.


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290 F. Supp. 3d 772 *; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191754 **; 2017-2 Trade Cas. (CCH) P80,203; 2017 WL 5574376


Prior History: In re Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litig., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73219 (N.D. Ill., Apr. 21, 2017)


conspiracy, Broiler, antitrust, indirect, consumer, chicken, announced, conspirators, competitors, discovery, commodity, flocks, breeder, plant, exports, meat, collusion, decrease, inflated, unfair, unprecedented, conspiratorial, notice, egg, anti-biotic, customers, slaughter, price-fixing, injunctive, reductions

Civil Procedure, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Pleadings, Complaints, Requirements for Complaint, Antitrust & Trade Law, Sherman Act, Scope, Claims, Evidence, Types of Evidence, Circumstantial Evidence, Defenses, Governments, Legislation, Statute of Limitations, Judicial Review, Time Limitations, Extensions & Revivals, Tolling, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Standing, Elements, Procedural Matters, The Judiciary, Standing, Remedies, Damages, Clayton Act, Effect & Operation, Prospective Operation, Public Enforcement, State Civil Actions, Statutory Remedies & Rights, Injunctions, Sherman Act, Consumer Protection, Deceptive & Unfair Trade Practices, State Regulation, Special Proceedings, Class Actions