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March 2022

Tenth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Two Class Actions Against Nation’s Four Largest Beef Processors

United States - New Mexico

The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed the dismissal with prejudice of two class action complaints filed against our clients, the nation's four largest beef processors. The plaintiffs, a beef consumer and a cattle rancher, alleged that the beef processors were engaging in false and deceptive practices under state law by labeling their beef as “Products of the U.S.A." The district court dismissed plaintiffs' claims on the ground that they were preempted by federal law and failed to state a claim. Our firm represented the beef processors on appeal. After full briefing and argument, we won full affirmance of the dismissal. Agreeing with our arguments, the Tenth Circuit held that plaintiffs could not use state law to challenge product labels that the United States Department of Agriculture approved; their claims were preempted.

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