Texas judge says Bill Koch must pay damages, sell back Akaushi cattle
A south Texas ranch family was awarded $1.825 million in punitive damages in a dispute over full-bred Japanese Akaushi cattle they sold to billionaire Bill Koch’s Bear Ranch in Paonia.
U.S. District Court Judge Gregg Costa also ruled that Bear Ranch must sell back those cattle to Flatonia, Texas-based HeartBrand Beef, the ranch said in a news release.
Costa’s decision affirms a May 2014 award by a federal jury.
The case dates to a 2012 dispute between the two ranches. Bear Ranch purchased Akaushi — one of four Wagyu cattle breeds indigenous to Japan — from HeartBrand in 2010 and from HeartBrand chairman Ronald Beeman in 2011, growing its herd to about 4,000 head.
According to HeartBrand, Bear Ranch agreed to meet certain genetic standards, however Bear Ranch sued the the Texas company in 2012, claiming the agreement was anti-competitive and illegal.
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