(CN) – A chicken farm was improperly denied the right to present evidence that one of its poultry suppliers fraudulently inflated the number of chickens that were dead on arrival, a California appeals court ruled.
R&A Ranch sued Mao Foods, claiming the poultry raiser had artificially inflated the number of dead chickens on poultry condemnation forms issued by food safety inspectors. This allowed Mao to get more money for the live chickens it delivered, because the farm paid by the pound according to the weight of the truck before and after delievery. Mao could deduct the estimated weight of dead or “otherwise unusable” chickens.
The trial court threw out much of R&A’s evidence on the grounds of hearsay and lack of authentication. Justice Manella of the Los Angeles-based appeals court reversed, allowing the evidence.
“Much of the evidence offered,” Manella wrote, “was adequately authenticated and was not subject to any legitimate hearsay objection.”
Manella remanded the case for retrial.
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