Flannery Associates LLC, an agricultural land buyer, is seeking more than $571 million in damages against defendants that include Barnes Family Ranch Associates LLC and Kirby Hill Associates LLC over the sale of properties in the Jepson Prairie and Montezuma Hills area of Solano County, California, between San Francisco and Sacramento.
Flannery, represented by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, c
If the conspirators had acted independently, they could have each individually negotiated a sale with Flannery and made tens of millions of dollars in profits," Flannery's attorneys said in the complaint. "But the conspirators wanted to make hundreds of millions."
Flannery's attorneys at Skadden did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on Friday.
Lawyers for the various family land trusts and estates had not yet entered appearances in the lawsuit in Sacramento-based U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
One of the individual defendants, Kirk Beebe, who the complaint said was vice president of co-defendants Barnes Corp, Lambie Corp, and Kirby Corp, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on Friday.
Flannery, based in Folsom, California, said it has been purchasing rangeland property in Solano County since 2018 and had invested more than $800 million
laims lost profits from land it did not buy and from overcharges for properties it did purchase.
The lawsuit said Flannery has brought or is under contract to buy about 140 properties in the area.
The region hosts energy infrastructure, utility-scale commercial wind farms and environmental conservation projects, the complaint said.
In the lawsuit, Flannery said land it has acquired is used for interstate commerce. The company said various energy and power entities had contracts or proposals to operate on Flannery-owned land in the region.
The lawsuit alleged "the price-fixing conspiracy has resulted in the suppression and elimination of competition, leading to artificially high prices and fewer transactions."
The case is Flannery Associates LLC v. Barnes Family Ranch Associates LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, No. 2:23-cv-00927-TLN-AC.
For plaintiffs: Matthew Martino, Michael Menitove, Lance Etcheverry and Abraham