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Weil Wins Dismissal of Derivative Action for Pilgrims Pride

On December 12, 2022, Weil secured dismissal of a shareholder derivative action brought against nominal defendant Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation and certain of PPC’s current and former senior executives and directors in Colorado District Court, Weld County.

In the action, two plaintiffs, purportedly on behalf of PPC, alleged claims for breach of fiduciary duties, abuse of control, gross mismanagement, unjust enrichment, and waste of corporate assets, all premised on PPC’s participation in an anticompetitive scheme with other U.S. broiler chicken producers. The plaintiffs’ claims were largely based on allegations from two related securities fraud class actions brought against PPC in Colorado federal court, in addition to criminal proceedings against PPC and its former directors and executives, stemming from the same anticompetitive conspiracy. 

In its order granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss, the court found that the plaintiffs had failed to plead facts showing that they satisfied Colorado’s pre-suit demand requirement to pursue derivative claims on behalf of PPC. Accordingly, the court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss all claims with prejudice.

This is the third victory Weil has achieved for PPC and its directors and officers in a suite of shareholder litigation arising from the same allegations. Prior to this most recent outcome, Weil won the dismissal of a related securities class action in March 2022, and earlier, in April 2021, Weil achieved the same result in another securities class action also brought in Colorado federal court.

The Weil team was led by Caroline Zalka, Co-Head of Weil’s Securities Litigation group, and included partner Evert Christensen, counsel Seth Goodchild, and associates Aaron Curtis, Tania Matsuoka, Milana BretgoltzAmama Rasani, Brian Kitchen, Ben Apfel, Emma Peplow and Taylor Stone.