Pacific Seafood settles suit with fishermen
By SeafoodSource staff
Published on 01 April, 2012
Pacific Seafood Group has settled a class action lawsuit filed by two Brookings, Ore., fishermen, according to the Register-Guard, citing court documents and sources who confirmed the agreement.
This week, U.S. District Judge Owen Panner is expected to decide whether to accept the settlement, reached last week after the Clackamas, Ore.-based company agreed to the as-yet-undisclosed terms, reported the Eugene, Ore., newspaper on Monday.
In February, class action status was granted to the lawsuit. The case dates back to 2010, when father-and-son fishermen Lloyd and Todd Whaley accused Pacific Seafood of violating federal antitrust laws by paying West Coast fishermen below-market prices for whiting, groundfish, shrimp and Dungeness crab. They also alleged that Pacific Seafood illegally conspired with another processor, Washington-based Ocean Gold Seafoods, to suppress prices for whiting.
According to the Register-Guard, the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Mike Haglund and Mike Kelley, initially asked for more than USD 500 million in damages, then revised the figure to between USD 74 million and USD 120 million last fall and amended their complaint to exclude Dungeness crab fishermen.