10th Circuit won't let Cherokee Nation intervene in poultry case
A divided panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said the Cherokee Nation can't intervene in a lawsuit against the poultry industry.

The court said the tribe waited too long to join the lawsuit, which was filed by the state of Oklahoma. The tribe's motion came on the eve of a trial against Tyson Foods.

"A potential intervenor cannot ignore the prejudice to others that could result from a last-minute intervention," Judge Harris L. Hartz wrote for the majority.

But a dissenting judge noted Tyson was the party that raised the tribe's involvement in the first place. "In my view, Tyson cannot now complain about the timing of the Nation’s motion to intervene when Tyson is at least partly responsible for that timing said the tribe is a "necessary" party to the case," Judge Deanell Reece Tacha wrote.

The lawsuit accuses Tyson and other poultry companies of polluting the Illinois River. The trial took 52 days but Judge Gregory K. Frizzell has not made a decision.

Get the Story:
Court rules Cherokees can’t join water protection suit (AP 9/22)

10th Circuit Decision:
Oklahoma v. Tyson Foods (September 21, 2010)

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