Case Details

Year Initiated/Committed


Settlement Amount



Washington Superior Court, King County

Docket Number


Lead State


Participating States



Starkist Company; Dongwon Industries Col, Ltd.; Christopher Lischewski

Case Description

Plaintiff state filed a civil lawsuit against Starkist, one of the world’s largest canned tuna manufacturers and the former CEO of Bumble Bee Foods, another large tuna manufacturer, over a price-fixing conspiracy that drove up the cost of packaged tuna for more than a decade. The suit alleged that StarKist Co., its parent company Dongwon, and former Bumble Bee Foods CEO Christopher Lischewski, engaged in a price-fixing conspiracy from 2004 through 2015 to drive up the cost of packaged tuna, violating Washington’s Consumer Protection Act. StarKist is the leading manufacturer of packaged tuna, accounting for 40 percent of the market. The alleged conspiracy came to light during a federal investigation of acquisitions in the tuna market, which led to guilty pleas in the federal criminal price-fixing case. Washington is the first state to file a civil case in connection with this conspiracy. The lawsuit seeks restitution to Washington consumers as well as costs and attorneys’ fees. Bumblebee CEO Lischewski settled with the state for $100,000 and injunctive relief.