|OCM Optimistic Pickett Jury Verdict will be ReinstatedLincoln ~ The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) expressed optimism the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will uphold the $1.3 billion jury verdict in the Pickett v. Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. cattle price manipulation case. A three judge panel heard oral argument on Friday, December 17, 2004 in Montgomery, Alabama.
Joe Whatley, co-lead trial counsel, argued the case for the Plaintiff Cattlemen. He told the court the jury’s decision that Tyson manipulated cattle markets for eight years without justification should be upheld. “The issue is not what the court would have decided, but whether the jury could reasonably have found,” Whatley said. Whatley is an experienced class action attorney and 11th Circuit appellate lawyer.
The jury found, on February 17, 2004, Tyson manipulated the cattle market from 1994 to 2002 causing nearly $1.3 billion in damages to cattlemen. Judge Lyle E. Strom overturned the verdict on April 23, 2004. Strom believed Tyson’s actions were justified by a desire to achieve a reliable and consistent supply of cattle and to “meet the competition” because the other packers used captive supply as well. Plaintiffs appealed asking the 11th Circuit to reinstate the verdict.
Judges Emmett R. Cox, Ed Carnes, and Richard Mills questioned both sides extensively. “This is a unique and complex case,” said Judge Mills.
Judge Carnes forced Tyson’s counsel, Carter Phillips, to admit that if captive supplies are unlawful, then it is no defense to say others are engaging in unlawful behavior too. “I have this vision of all the packers standing in a circle pointing at each other,” said Carnes.
Carnes also questioned Tyson’s claim that the company could not control when captive cattle were delivered while also claiming they achieved a consistent and reliable supply of cattle with the practice. “Can you explain this contradiction?” Carnes asked Tyson attorney Carter Phillips.
Cattlemen attorney Whatley pointed out Tyson’s expert, Michael Hausman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, tried to convince the jury that captive supply does not cause lower prices. “Hausman thought cattle were on feed only two weeks,” said Whatley. “He did not know anything about the industry.” Under intense questioning, Tyson attorney Phillips admitted the jury was free to believe Plaintiff’s expert Bob Taylor and disbelieve Tyson’s experts.
“This is probably the most important case in the cattle industry,” said Fred Stokes, OCM Past President who attended the hearing. “We are optimistic the 11th Circuit will recognize Tyson broke the law and help restore fairness, access and competition to the cattle markets.”
The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) is a multidisciplinary, nonprofit group of farmers, ranchers, academics, attorneys and policy makers dedicated to reclaiming the agricultural marketplace for independent farmers, ranchers and rural communities. OCM helps lead the Cattlemen’s Competitive Market Project which is a voluntary contribution program funding the effort to increase demand for U.S. cattle and beef in open and competitive markets.
Stay Informed!Subscribe to information and news updates related to farming, food and health issues, click here!
Follow me on TwitterMy Tweets
- This Cattleman's Got A Beef
Photo: Sean Cayton - 2003People producing good food from happy animals, while improving the environment, shouldn’t have to fear the government.
Photo above featured in a 2003 article: This cattleman's got a beef, Mike Callicrate and Ranch Foods Direct take on the big meat packers by Kathryn Eastburn
- BIG Food Exposed
- Great Ranches of the West
Purchase Great Ranches of the West for only $34.95 and $20 will go to an Organization or Project of your choice!
"An eye opening and heart touching portrait of a culture and industry that we are in great danger of losing. This book will help readers understand the urgency of preserving the Western ranchlands inhabited by families and rural communities that provide nourishing food for our nation, preserve a healthy natural environment and entrust that great American values will endure."
- Mike Callicrate
An Endangered Species
Every month 1,000 ranches go out of production. It's the national security issue that no one is talking about.
Food Policy & LawE. Coli Confessions Part I
by John Munsell | Oct 11, 2011
Editor's Note: This is the first part in a series written by John Munsell of Miles City, MT, who explains how the small meat plant his family owned for 59 years ran afoul of USDA's meat inspection program. The events he writes about began a decade ago, but remain relevant today.
They say that confession is good for the soul. I've been involved in a series of ugly events since my plant in 2002 recalled 270 pounds of ground beef contaminated with E.coli O157:H7 and now want to admit the embarrassing truth for public review. more
Tagsadvanced meat recovery antibiotics beef checkoff Big Food BPI Callicrate Callicrate Beef Callicrate Cattle Co. Cargill Chipotle Colorado Springs COOL Dudley Butler e. coli Eric Schlosser fast food nation food Inc. Foodopoly GIPSA HSUS IBP Industrial Agriculture JBS McDonald's meat packers Mike Callicrate Monsanto NCBA OCM Organization for Competitive Markets pink slime R-CALF Ranch Foods Direct Rick Hughes Smithfield Sodexo steroids Sysco Tom Vilsack Tyson U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance USDA Vandana Shiva Walmart zilmax
Top Posts & Pages
- 9 Disappointing Facts About Chipotle
- Beef's Reputation On Sale - Price Shoppers Beware!
- Great Ranches of the West
- Vice: Meathooked and End of Water
- SOIL Initiative
- Fed Cattle Commentary - Walt Hackney, Hackney Cattle Company
- Recommended Reading
- Pink Slime: Dark Side of Industrial Food System Exposed
- HSUS Members Give Nebraska Farmer Standing Applause at Annual Meeting
National News Supplement