|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.