Tyson Foods Inc. has said it will appeal a $7.3M verdict awarded to seven of its former contract poultry growers in a lawsuit in Oklahoma, according to Tulsa World. The growers alleged in McCurtain County District Court that Tyson unfairly supplied them with poor-quality chickens and feed while providing superior stock to other growers.

The award included $4.8M in actual damages and $2.5M in punitive damages. The suit was originally filed in May 2008 with 60 plaintiffs, but they were divided into smaller groups so the court could more easily manage the cases. A trial with another group of plaintiffs is set to start in May.

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“We are extremely disappointed with the jury’s decision, but given the manner in which this trial was conducted, we are not surprised the jury reached a runaway verdict,” Tyson Foods said in a news release.