The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from Arkansas poultry processor OK Industries, which was ordered to pay a $14.5 million judgment to approximately 300 Oklahoma farmers who raised chickens for the company. Without comment, the high court upheld a decision from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals; the appeals court last year affirmed a federal jury verdict in 2008 against the company, reports The Oklahoman.

The verdict against OK Industries stemmed from a 2002 class-action lawsuit filed by chicken growers in Muskogee, Okla., who claimed the company's contracts were anti-competitive and violated the federal Packer and Stockyards Act. An expert witness testified at the trial that the company's practices reduced production and payments to growers and that they would have earned $14.5 million more in a competitive market. The jury awarded the growers $21 million, but the judge reduced the award to $14.5 million.

Source: The Oklahoman