NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - A New York grocery cooperative is suing the three largest producers of packaged seafood products in the U.S. over claims that the trio fixed, raised, maintained and stabilized prices of seafood products.

Olean Wholesale Grocery Cooperative Inc., individually and for all others similarly situated, filed a class action complaint Aug. 3 in U.S. District Court Southern District of California against Bumble Bee Foods LLC, Tri-Union Seafoods LLC, and StarKist Co., alleging collusion to fix prices, in violation of Sections 1 and 3 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

The complaint states that tuna consumption has declined over the last few years, but the defendants have maintained their prices of packaged tuna products, resulting in stabilized prices at artificial and non-competitive levels.

The plaintiffs and others in the class seek an order preventing the defendants from continuing in the alleged activities or performing similar activities in the future. They also seek treble damages and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by Michael P. Lehmann, Bonny E. Sweeney, Christopher L. Lebsock, Michael D. Hausfeld and James J. Pizzirusso of Hausfeld LLP of San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and by Arthur N. Bailey, Sr. of Arthur N. Bailey & Associates of Jamestown, N.Y.

U.S. District Court Southern District of California case number: 3:15-cv-01714-JLS-MDD

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