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Federal court denies motion to dismiss cattle antitrust cases

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The Federal District Court for the District of Minnesota has issued an order substantially denying the motion by the nation’s four largest beef packers (Defendants) to dismiss the class-action antitrust lawsuit originally filed in April 2019 by R-CALF USA through its counsels Scott & Scott Attorneys at Law LLP, along with Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP.

1890 Puck political cartoon. A monopoly of corporate interests led to the Sherman Antitrust Act.  (Wikipedia)

In Tuesday’s, Sept. 14 ruling, Judge John R. Tunheim found that Plaintiffs (including R-CALF USA) have plausibly plead that Defendants conspired to suppress the price of fed cattle and increase the price of beef.

R-CALF USA’s antitrust action alleges the “Big 4” (Cargill, Tyson Foods, Inc., JBS, SA and National Beef Packing Co.) violated the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 by engaging in a price-fixing conspiracy. It also alleges the Big 4 violated the Packers and Stockyards Act as well as the Commodity Exchange Act.

As a result of Tuesday’s order, the cattle antitrust case will now proceed to discovery so that Plaintiffs may test their claims. A public version of the order will be available at a later date.

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