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Published July 17, 2012, 10:56 AM

S.D. cattle lawsuit closes

After a five-day trial, Dry Run Cattle Co. and Ray Cooper will receive minimal damages from their four-year-old lawsuit against Dan Knoll and Central Livestock Associates Inc.

By: Frannie Sprouls, Forum Communications

MITCHELL, S.D. — After a five-day trial, Dry Run Cattle Co. and Ray Cooper will receive minimal damages from their four-year-old lawsuit against Dan Knoll and Central Livestock Associates Inc.

Dry Run Cattle and Cooper will each receive $9,276 in veterinary-related costs from Knoll, a Davison County jury decided July 16 at the courthouse in Mitchell, S.D.

Attorneys in the case presented their closing arguments to the jury the afternoon of July 16.

Dry Run Cattle Co. — a family-owned cattle feeding operation based in Mount Vernon, S.D. — sought more than $287,000 in damages from Dan Knoll, of Grafton City, Ill., an agent of KLC LLC, and Central Livestock Association Inc., a Minnesota-based company.

Dry Run Cattle claimed Knoll and Central Livestock breached an agreement to raise and sell 1,105 head of drug-free cattle by supplying cattle that were sick.

“A calf delivered with a supplementary immune system is not a healthy calf,” said Carl Koch, of Mitchell, during his closing argument.

Koch represented Travis Hostler, part-owner of Dry Run Cattle, and Ray Cooper, an Iowa resident and investor in Dry Run Cattle.

Gary W. Schumacher, of De Smet, S.D., represented Knoll, and Eric DeNure, of Sioux Falls, S.D., represented Central Livestock.

Koch argued that all it takes to say the cattle were drug-free and healthy when delivered was a signature on a piece of paper.

“It’s not any better than what’s advertised on late-night TV,” Koch said. “They advertise anything.”

Schumacher argued the lawsuit had inconsistencies. He criticized Hostler’s records and testimony.

“How do you explain this?” he said. “These were healthy calves that were dropped into a complete mess.”

DeNure said Central Livestock is blameless.

“When our cattle came in, they got infected,” DeNure said. “It’s all on Dry Run and it’s all on Travis Hostler.”

DeNure also argued Central Livestock was not a member of the joint venture but was only an order buyer and broker.

The unanimous verdict was delivered the evening of July 16. The trial began July 10.

Editor’s Note: This article is from Forum Communications, which owns Agweek.

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