Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 12:20 PM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Fishermen settle lawsuit with Pacific Seafood

Fishermen who alleged that an Oregon company used its size to hold down the prices it paid for seafood have settled their suit and won't get any damages or see the company broken up.

The Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
No comments have been posted to this article.
Start the conversation >

advertising

EUGENE, Ore. —

Fishermen who alleged that an Oregon company used its size to hold down the prices it paid for seafood have settled their suit and won't get any damages or see the company broken up.

Pacific Seafood Group has agreed to steps the fishermen believe will increase competition for seafood.

The case was initially brought by a father and son, Lloyd and Todd Whaley of Brookings, Ore., and once sought $500 million in damages. It was eventually made a class-action suit, but fishermen reduced their monetary claims and limited the lawsuit by dropping the Dungeness crab fishery.

The settlement keeps intact the company that Frank Dulcich built from one store in southeast Portland to one of the largest processors and wholesalers in the country, the Oregonian (http://bit.ly/HdR3ZE) reported.

Even as he fought the lawsuit, Dulcich continued to expand by buying Coast Seafoods of South Bend, Wash., one of the largest oyster companies in the nation.

Pacific attorney Michael Esler said that as the case developed, it became clear there wasn't the evidence to support claims that the company unfairly used its buying and selling power.

The attorney for the fishermen, Mike Haglund, said the settlement opens up the West Coast fishery to Pacific Seafood's competitors, who will be able to capitalize on growing demand from Asia and India and perhaps level the playing field.

Haglund and his law firm will get $2.9 million in fees and expenses, the money coming from the company's insurer.

The measures Pacific agreed to include ending its relationship with Ocean Gold Seafoods in 2016. Westport, Wash.-based Ocean Gold sold its product to Pacific.

Pacific and Ocean Gold will report average wholesale prices to a seafood market reporting service if other processors do the same, and the companies will accept fish scrap from new processors. Disposing of fish waste is a major barrier to entry in the processing industry.

Pacific also agreed to put an unused waterfront property in Crescent City, Calif., on the market or have a "reasonable business purpose" for keeping it. The fishermen said the company tied up coastal land to keep out competitors.

U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan mediated the settlement, which goes to U.S. District Judge Owen Panner for approval.

---

Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon


Advertising