On February 17, 2004, a federal jury in Montgomery, Alabama, returned a $1.28 billion verdict against Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. (Tyson)1 in a class action lawsuit alleging that Tyson (formerly Iowa Beef Processors (IBP)) manipulated the price for fed cattle through the use of long-term contracts (known as captive supply cattle) in violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act.2 If the jury verdict stands and the case is upheld on appeal, the jury’s verdict will have significant implications for the future structure of the livestock industry.



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