Partners James Magee, David Lundsgaard and Jeffrey Beaver, assisted by Paige Kirkhus, successfully defended a Northwest and Alaskan fish processor in a class-action antitrust price fixing case. The processor was one of 12 remaining defendants, all of whom proved victorious following a four-month trial in Anchorage, Alaska. On Friday, May 23rd, the jury deliberated for just under five hours before reaching a unanimous defense verdict!
The plaintiff class of some 4500 Bristol Bay salmon fishermen alleged that the Processor colluded with other major processors and Japanese importers to lower prices paid to fishermen for their catches between 1989 and 1995. Plaintiffs’ experts calculated alleged damages, after trebling, of more than $1.1 billion. The defendants asserted that a growing supply at all levels and in all markets accounted for the decline in fish prices, and that the situation was exacerbated by an increasing reliance on farm-raised salmon. The jury agreed.