Posted May 27, 2015
A West Virginian poultry farmer is suing Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. for breach of contract, according to MeatingPlace. West Virginia Record also published an article available here.
M&M Poultry Inc. filed a complaint May 8 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, claiming that Pilgrim’s Pride defrauded M&M by using a “tournament” ranking system that pit the plaintiff against follower growers and led to the unlawful termination of its contract. 
M&M owner David Mongold executed a production agreement with Pilgrim’s in June 2009, amending an agreement in January 2010 and “upon insistence of Pilgrim’s” executed another production agreement in February 2012. The company had operated six chicken houses, which could house almost 148,000 birds at peak capacity. 
M&M claims under the terms of the broiler production agreement, Pilgrim’s Pride agreed to deliver flocks of chicks to M&M’s facility, according to West Virginia Record.
M&M claims Pilgrim’s Pride defrauded the plaintiff by imposing and utilizing a tournament system that wrongfully placed M&M in competition with its fellow growers, while requiring M&M to accept chicks which were genetically different, chicks with varying degrees of healthiness and feed of dissimilar quantity and quality.
The defendant knowingly made and continues to make materially false representations about future income, costs, expenses, company policies and working relationships to M&M and its fellow growers, or concealed related material facts and information, according to the suit.
M&M claims the defendant violated the Federal Packers & Stockyards Act and breached its contract with the plaintiff.
M&M is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. It is being represented by Keith Lively of Doyle, Barlow & Mazard PLLC; and J. Dudley Butler of Butler Farm & Ranch Law Group.
For more information on the Packers and Stockyards Act, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website, here.