Checks are out to 400,000 Wash. households from $40M price-fixing settlement

Dec 6, 2023, 2:52 PM | Updated: 3:09 pm

ferguson tuna chicken...

WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson unveiled a landmark restitution effort today, with his office issuing checks to hundreds of thousands of households across Washington. This initiative follows successful antitrust litigations against major chicken and tuna corporations found guilty of price-fixing.

Ferguson’s office aims to provide $40.6 million in financial redress to households with incomes at or below 175% of the federal poverty level. Approximately 402,200 Washington households are set to receive these reimbursements, benefitting over 1.2 million residents, constituting around 15% of the state’s population.

More on Bob Ferguson: Poll shows Dave Reichert ahead in Wash. governor race

The breakdown of payments includes $50 checks for approximately 134,100 single-person households, while households with two or more residents will receive $120 each, totaling $38.9 million in direct payments.

The initial batch of checks, totaling $35.5 million in recoveries from 15 of 19 broiler chicken producers, was dispatched on Dec. 5, with all payments slated for delivery before Dec. 31. For those who believe they qualify but haven’t received a check by the end of the year, a claims form is available at the State of Washington King County Superior Court’s website. Users can submit a claim within six months.

“When powerful interests break the law and harm Washingtonians, my office holds them accountable,” Ferguson stated, stressing the importance of this restitution. “Washington families were cheated by corporate price-fixing conspiracies they knew nothing about.”

These refunds are specifically targeted to aid those Washingtonians most affected by the price-fixing schemes Ferguson said. Examples provided by Ferguson’s office include various family structures and income brackets, offering relief to those struggling due to corporate malpractice.

Some of the history of this case

The Attorney General’s Office’s pursuit of 19 broiler chicken producers highlighted a conspiracy dating back to at least 2008, inflating prices and manipulating bids, actions deemed unlawful under Washington antitrust laws. The litigation uncovered coordinated efforts to stifle production and manipulate pricing through information exchanges and industry-wide collaborations.

Notably, the restitution stems not only from the chicken industry but also from legal actions against major tuna companies. Recoveries amounting to over $5.1 million were secured, including resolutions with companies like StarKist, Chicken of the Sea and sanctions against Dongwon, among others.

More from Matt Markovich: Lawmakers seek to protect consumers from losing money on unused gift cards

A against the remaining co-conspirators scheduled for October 2024. These companies include Foster Farms, Wayne-Sanderson Farms, Wayne Farms and House of Raeford Farms.

The claims administrator will reserve $1.7 million for eligible households that may not receive initial payments, offering avenues for claims until June 5, 2024, in multiple languages. Individuals seeking more information or assistance regarding eligibility can reach out via phone at (866) 601-1516 or through email at

You can read more of Matt Markovich’s stories here. Follow Matt on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email him here.

MyNorthwest News

Photo: A law enforcement vehicle's lights....

James Lynch

SPD: Armed good Samaritan saves pregnant woman from attacker

Seattle police said an armed good Samaritan came to the rescue of a woman during a domestic violence incident and shot her attacker.

8 hours ago

NAACP kamala harris...

Sam Campbell

‘It’s about time’: NAACP leader in WA applauds possibility of Harris as presidential nominee

NAACP members reportedly scrambled to regroup following President Joe Biden’s sudden withdrawal from the race on Sunday.

11 hours ago

hit-and-run lake city...

Frank Sumrall, MyNorthwest; James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio

Hit-and-run in Seattle’s Lake City kills one early Monday morning

A man was killed in a hit-and-run in Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood at Northeast 125th Street and 30th Avenue Northeast Monday morning.

16 hours ago

kent kidnapping...

Frank Sumrall

Kent Police: Second attempted kidnapping in less than a week

A 911 caller contacted Kent Police July 19 after an unknown adult male reached inside a window of the caller's home and grabbed their young daughter.

17 hours ago

Photo: Detectives are investigating a Seattle drive-by shooting that happened early Saturday mornin...

Julia Dallas

Seattle police: Woman shot in both hands in early morning drive-by shooting

Detectives are investigating a Seattle drive-by shooting that happened early Saturday morning. A woman was shot in her hands.

1 day ago

Photo: President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the 75th anniversary of NATO at the Andrew W. Mellon...

MyNorthwest and KIRO Newsradio staff

‘Bring it on:’ Washington officials react to Biden dropping out of the race

Washington officials have reacted to President Joe Biden dropping out of the 2024 presidential election.

2 days ago

Checks are out to 400,000 Wash. households from $40M price-fixing settlement