The Scott+Scott law firm has filed a class action lawsuit in federal district court in Chicago on behalf of R-CALF USA and four cattle-feeding ranchers from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Wyoming. The suit alleges the nation’s four largest beef packers violated U.S. antitrust laws, the Packers and Stockyards Act, and the Commodity Exchange Act by unlawfully depressing prices paid to American ranchers. The complaint was filed against Tyson Foods, Inc., JBS S.A., Cargill, Inc., and National Beef Packing Company, LLC.
The suit claims the packers, which purchase and processes more than 80 percent of U.S. fed cattle, conspired to depress the price of fed cattle they purchased from American ranchers, thereby inflating their own margins and profits since January of 2015.
The class action lawsuit seeks to recover losses suffered by two classes believed harmed by packers alleged conduct. The first class includes cattle producers who sold fed cattle to any one of the companies from January 2015 to the present. The second class consists of traders who transacted live cattle futures or options contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange from January 2015 to the present.
Source: National Association of Farm Broadcasters