Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Fraud Allegations in Production Contracting Time Barred

Sanderson Farms Inc. v. Ballard, 917 So.2d 783 (Miss. 2005).

In this case, a group of broiler and egg producers attacked Sanderson's ranking system, by which producers were ranked by efficiency within the group and the best performers were compensated thereunder. The producers argued that their assent to the production contracts they signed was procured through fraudulent and negligent inducement. They also argue that the statute of limitations was tolled through fraudulent concealment on the part of Sanderson.

The court found that the defendants on appeal were well aware of the ranking system long before the three year statute of limitations on fraud claims. Under Miss. Code. Ann. sec. 15-1-49 their claims were therefore time barred. The court also found that the defendants on appeal had not demonstrated any affirmative act of concealment that would operate to support a claim of fraudulent concealment.

Because the fraud claims were time barred, the rest of the defendant's complaint was moot.


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