Judge clears Tyson of cattle price fixing

April 26, 2004, as reported by just-food.com:Tyson Food’s string of good luck continues as a federal judge has reversed a previous verdict that found the meat processor guilty of price fixing. In February a jury ruled against Tyson and recommended the company pay US$1.28bn in damages. A month later District Judge Lyle E. Strom dismissed the damages as too high.

Now, Judge Lyle Strom has now ruled that not only were damages excessive but the verdict reached by the Alabama jury in February was contrary to the law and evidence in the case. Strom determined that Tyson Fresh Meats did not violate the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA) through entering into marketing agreements.

"This decision is a victory for US cattle producers and our company," John Tyson, chairman and CEO of Tyson Foods, said. "It protects the freedom of producers to market cattle the way they want and it affirms our strongly held belief that our livestock buying practices are proper."

Tyson Fresh Meats, formerly IBP, was formally accused of controlling cattle prices through its marketing agreements with independent cattle producers.

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