Chicken Company Can Amend Complaint

     WASHINGTON (CN) – A farming company can amend its complaint against the government for destroying its chickens, the Court of Federal Claims ruled.

     Cebe Farms Industries alleges that when the U.S. Department of Agriculture tried to stop an outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) in Southern California in 2002, it wiped out three kinds of its colored broiler chickens.
     Cebe claims the government’s action was unnecessary, because “none of Cebe’s birds displayed any of the clinical signs of an END infection.”
     The department responded that does not specifically allege that the government witnesses “had the authority to bind the defendant.”
     Judge Sweeney ruled that Cebe can amend its complaint to be more specific about which government officials committed the infractions. The department will then be able to mount an affirmative defense.

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