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Released Grower

Branford, FL

#1 Apr 5, 2010
Released Grower

Branford, FL

#2 Apr 5, 2010
Text from the link:

$7.3 million in chicken growers' verdict in Oklahoma
Tyson officials react to Oklahoma county jury's ruling against company.

Randy Ellis The Associated Press April 4, 2010

Idabel , Okla.-- A McCurtain County jury has returned a $7.3 million verdict against Tyson Foods Inc., finding the company defrauded a group of 10 McCurtain County chicken growers through a series of deceptive and coercive business practices.

Idabel attorney Tony Benson, who helped represent the suing chicken growers, said his clients are excited about the verdict.

"I heard several comments that it was a long time coming, and maybe this will make Tyson change the way it has been treating its growers," Benson said.

Tyson officials reacted angrily to the verdict, calling the jury's decision a "runaway verdict" and issuing a news release stating the company believes it has "strong and numerous grounds" on which to appeal.

The trial, which took three weeks to complete, is the first of several similar trials targeting Tyson scheduled to take place in McCurtain County in far southeastern Oklahoma.

More than 50 chicken growers initially filed a lawsuit in May 2008 against Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson. The case was split into several smaller trials in an effort to keep court proceedings from becoming unwieldy.

Facing more McCurtain County lawsuits, Tyson officials used a portion of their prepared statement to remind local residents of their company's large economic investment in the county. They also warned that could change.

"We are very concerned about the legal climate in McCurtain County, and we are assessing all options available to us to address this injustice and to prevent it from happening again," company officials said.

Benson said local residents shouldn't be overly concerned.

"That's a threat any big corporation makes," he said. "I don't see that happening."

The jury awarded the chicken growers about $4.79 million in actual damages and about half that much in punitive damages, Benson said.

The damages included $125,000 to each of the 10 growers for mental anguish, Benson said.
Lawsuit's allegations

In the lawsuit, chicken growers alleged Tyson used its tremendous economic clout to coerce them into growing chickens at less than break-even costs, "driving hundreds of families into bankruptcy and foreclosure."

The growers claimed Tyson used verbal and financial pressure to try and persuade growers to borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars to construct newer-styled chicken houses.

They claimed Tyson punished growers who refused to upgrade by providing them with inferior quality feed and chicks, as well as paying them less for their mature birds.

Growers also alleged Tyson used a secretive system to calculate how much various growers should be paid and refused to allow growers to verify feed delivery weights or the weights of the mature birds they produced for the company.
So Happy

United States

#3 Apr 5, 2010
So happy for those growers. How do these poultry companies think they can go on treating the growers like this and keep getting by with it? Now if the Pilgrim lawsuit will get to court. Maybe this verdict will help the growers in that case. This is just the way the Pilgrim growers were treated. Just thrilled for these growers.
Released Grower

Branford, FL

#4 Apr 6, 2010
Does anyone know the particulars of this case?
old chicken farmer

Wilmar, AR

#5 Apr 6, 2010
The angry reaction of Tyson officials is so typical of these large compaines. And with their downright threat to pull out of these communities is nothing less than their attempt to influence potential jury members in futher pending lawsuits. It's called JURY TAMPERING!!! You know, the practice that was once employed by "organized crime" sydicates. It seems that the "mafia" has taken over this country.

Bonners Ferry, ID

#6 Apr 6, 2010
At least they got to go to court. The case for the Arkansas growers has not gotten to court. I think if it ever gets to court it will turn out as well as this one. It is basically the same situation. From the farmers I know, they probably won't still have their farms by the time this one gets to court. Why does it take so long to get to court? The poultry companies are like the mafia. You either do their way or you don't get to do it anyway.
Poor Pilgrim Grower

United States

#7 Apr 8, 2010
I can not believe that the Tyson official "threatened" McCurtain county reminding them how much Tyson does for the county. That goes to show just how these companies think they can get by with anything. Of course, I guess, Pilgrim's has gotten by with getting their taxes lowered and other things and still most of the people think they are great. Somebody needs to speed up the Pilgrim trials. But maybe the judges have gotten their $20 bills from Bo.
old chicken farmer

Camden, AR

#8 May 31, 2010
Has anyone heard ANYTHING about the lawsuits that were supposed to be moved out of bankruptcy court to district court in Marshall, Tx.?
Another old farmer

United States

#9 Jun 1, 2010
Has anyone talked to the lawyer? He needs to let the the ones involved know where the case stands. I'm sure he is busy BUT! I thought the case was going to Marshall a long time ago. I just wonder why we have not heard something.
Friend of An Ex-grower

Indianapolis, IN

#10 Jun 1, 2010
I've got a buddy who is involved in that lawsuit and he just told me the other day that he has not heard anything from the lawyer in about 8 or 9 months. He figures it is a lost cause since they have not heard anything in so long. I don't see how it could be since Tyson growers won their case for almost the same thing. I have not bought any Pilgrim product since friends of mine were put in this predicament. Bo Pilgrim is not much of a man much less the Christian man he professed to be or he would not have treated the people who put him where he is today.
old chicken farmer

Wilmar, AR

#11 Jun 12, 2010
Does anyone know the status of the lawsuit filed by the Arkansas and Louisiana growers? Has anyone heard anything from the lawyers; Mark Brodouer, Johnny Dollar, Bob Depper or any of the other lawyers involved in this lawsuit? The case was supposedly moved from bankruptcy court to district court in Marshall, Tx. Has this case ever been put on the court docket in Marshall, Tx.? Has the case been dimissed? It's been some time since anyone has heard ANYTHING concerning the plight of the growers that were left stranded and drowning in debt. I have friends that are trying desperately to obtain any information concerning the status of this lawsuit. The growers I have talked with that are still raising chickens for Pilgrim's Pride had to accept cuts in their pay again. This is the second cut in the average pay per pound in 16 months.
Released Grower

Lake Butler, FL

#12 Jun 12, 2010
I heard that they are moving forward in the beginning of 2011.

United States

#13 Jun 12, 2010
What is moving forward? Are you talking about the lawsuit or Pilgrim's Pride? If it is the lawsuit, 2011 is a long time off. Most of the growers involved have already lost everything they had already. They were hurting, now it is beyond that. But you can bet your bottom dollar that Bo Pilgrim is still sitting there in his mansion looking down his nose at the broke farmers who put him where he is. This should have been settled a long time ago. It should have been settled before JBS was allowed to buy Pilgrims. Or JBS should have insisted they settle. I will not buy anything pilgrims. I hope more people feel that way and the business is bad. Maybe JBS could force Pilgrims to settle. As for the lawyers, they should be letting the growers know what is going on.
Released Grower

Lake Butler, FL

#14 Jun 13, 2010
The hearings regarding the claims against PPC. I know nothing of the cases that were moved out of the BK court. But if the stuff still in BK is taking until early next year the lawsuits will certainly be after.

As for losing everything, I'm just about there. The vultures are circling and the bank is about to pull the trigger.
Ex Grower

United States

#15 Jun 13, 2010
What is taking so long? I just can't understand. I thought that everything had to be settled by the first of last year so they could get out of bankruptcy. I assume that the lawyers are working on this but why don't they tell the growers something. I guess that Bo and his henchmen are just trying to wait us out. So they think that if they can hold out long enough the growers will be completely bankrupt themselves(the ones who aren't already)and will give up. The ones I know will never give up. They had all of the Pilgrim's mistreatment they could handle and now they want a piece of Pilgrims.
Released Grower

Lake Butler, FL

#16 Jun 13, 2010
The exit plan gave PPC 150 days to object to any claims. They waited until the last possible day to object to many grower claims.

It's in the best interests of the PPC lawyers to string this this as long as possible. They're getting paid by the hour and are not ready to let this cash cow get away from them just yet.

Beaverton, OR

#17 Jun 14, 2010
That is stupid. They will try to fight this from now on. If Bo Pilgrim was any kind of Christian like he says he is, he would tell the lawyers to settle this and get it over with. It is costing more money to fight than it would to settle with the growers. There is no telling how much Pilgrim's legal team has made in the last year on this case and the others. All the time that they are raking it in and Bo is sitting in his mansion, the farmers are suffering. Something needs to be done to get this over with. And the growers lawyers need to let them know something also. The growers don't hear from the lawyer and don't even have any idea what is happening. It would not take much to send out a letter to all the growers at least every month if not more often to keep them informed. I know they have enough secretaries to handle something that simple.
Released Grower

Lake Butler, FL

#18 Jun 14, 2010
Well by their MORs they were filing while in bankruptcy it was 1 million a week on attorneys.
Disgusted with Pilgrims

Lebanon, OR

#19 Jun 14, 2010
That is so stupid. Somebody needs to do something. Is there anything that can be done to put a stop to this stupidity? It needs to go on to court or Pilgrims settle. It would be cheaper for Pilgrims than to keep paying the lawyers.
old chicken farmer

United States

#20 Jun 15, 2010
Bo Pilgrim has nothing to do with Pilgrim's Pride any longer other than being a major stockholder. When JBS purchased 64% of Pilgrim's stock they removed Bo from his position of chairman of the board of directors. In other words, Bo took the money and run in an effort to put the fiasco he created behind him. Bo made several mistakes in his quest for fame and left hundreds, thousands of people and entire communities in total financial ruin. In the El Dorado area, this was the poultry farmers Katrina, their Gulf oil spill. As with all large corporations, the large poultry integrators can't be trusted and need to be regulated in order to protect workers and their families from being exploited and to insure they are held accountable for their actions.

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