Idaho Supreme Court Upholds Verdict Against Land O'Lakes For Cattle Deaths


The Idaho Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Land O'Lakes was at fault for a bad batch of milk replacer that led to the deaths of more than 100 calves at a Magic Valley ranch in 2005.

This morning's Twin Falls Times-News reports that the high court ruled in favor of J&J Ranch , which had successfully sued Land O'Lakes. Ranch owners Jesus Hurtado and John Reitsma initially won $150,000 in damages. But Land O'Lakes appealed and in a second trial, damages were reduced to $50,000, and were reduced again by another 40 percent. Land O'Lakes appealed a third time, to the Idaho Supreme Court, asking to overturn the verdict or order a new trial.

The Times-News reports that the high court upheld the verdict, saying that the trial had produced "substantial and competent evidence" that the the milk replacer made by Land O'Lakes was at fault. But the court also denied a request by the ranchers to add attorney fees to its judgment.