Tyson seeks reversal of award

(February 27, 2004) — (Montgomery, Alabama-AP) -- Tyson Foods is asking a federal judge in Alabama to enter a substitute ruling or order a new trial in a case in which a jury recommended that Tyson Foods pay cattlemen 1.28 billion dollars in damages. The jury sided with a group of cattlemen who accused the Arkansas-based company of using contracts with a select few ranchers to drive cattle prices down for other producers. But lawyers for Tyson Foods argue that the ruling should be entered on the evidence presented and the applicable law, rather than on the jury's instincts regarding the spirit of the law. The jury's verdict is a recommendation. And the final total of damages will depend on the number of cattlemen affected over an eight-year period and the amount of damages per animal. Both figures remain undetermined by the court.