11/01/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Price-Fixing By Egg Producers Alleged in Pennsylvania Lawsuit

PHILADELPHIA - A New York restaurant has filed a potential class-action suit over alleged price-fixing in the egg industry, days after the Justice Department confirmed a related probe.

The suit, filed Thursday in federal court in Philadelphia, alleges that egg producers conspired to limit domestic egg supplies in order to raise prices - and profits. The suit names more than a dozen egg producers, food companies and trade groups as defendants.

"We've seen the prices just soar in the last couple of years," plaintiff's lawyer James Pizzirusso said. "And it can't be explained by increases in fuel or feed."

Egg prices are at historic highs. The average wholesale price of a dozen eggs rose to $1.14 in the New York area last year - up 43 percent from a year earlier - and continue to climb this year, according to a government economist cited in the suit.

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