Thursday, April 13, 2006

Cattlemen 1, Tyson & Cargill 0.

It was widely reported this morning that a jury returned a verdict against Tyson Fresh Meats, Cargill, and Swift fir 9.25 million dollars in an extensively litigated class action lawsuit involving application of the Packers and Stockyards Act.

In Schumacher v. Tyson Foods, Inc. , CIV 02-1027 (D. S.Dak. Apr. 12, 2006) it was alleged in the complaint that the the USDA's mandatory cattle price and boxed beef price information that was published between April 2 and May 11 inclusive had been erroneously reported as being substantially lower than prices actually were because of a software error. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants knew that this was so but used the information to underpay the plaintiffs by a substantial amount of money. This, they contended, was an unfair practice specifically prohibited by the Packers and Stockyards Act and which gave rise to a private right of action.

The jury agreed, and rendered judgment for the plaintiffs against Tyson, Cargill and Swift, but found no liability on the part of National Beef, the remaining defendant.

FYI:You may read about this *somewhere else*. You heard it *here* first.


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