February 20, 2004
Feb. 20, 2004 -- A federal jury in Alabama returned a $1.28 billion verdict against Tyson Foods on Tuesday in a class-action suit about alleged price-fixing in the cattle industry.
The jury found that Tyson illegally depressed cattle prices between 1994 and 2002 by using privately contracted supplies of cattle bought outside daily auctions ? termed ?captive? supply -- as leverage against market prices. The eight-year-old class-action lawsuit was brought by six cattle producers.
Tyson objected to the verdict and said over the next week ?it will essentially ask the judge to set aside the verdict and rule in favor of the company.?
Tyson will appeal the decision if it is not set aside.