Poultry industry cites Cherokee Nation in lawsuit
The poultry industry is making an interesting legal claim in hopes of getting a lawsuit thrown out of federal court.

Tyson Foods Inc. and other companies claim the Cherokee Nation owns the Illinois River in Oklahoma. They say the lawsuit can't proceed without the tribe's involvement.

But due to sovereign immunity, the tribe can't be joined without its consent. So the industry says the lawsuit should be dismissed.

Oklahoma attorney general Drew Edmondson filed the suit in federal court. He says Tyson Foods and other companies are polluting Oklahoma's waters.

Though the tribe is not involved in the case, Cherokee Chief Chad Smith said its environmental laws are just as strong as the state's. "It may be a fallacy for corporations like Tyson to think that an environmental regulatory structure put in place by the Cherokee Nation would be any less rigorous than the state of Oklahoma's," he said.

Get the Story:
Cherokees own Illinois River, industry claims (The Tulsa World 11/1)
Sued poultry firms file motion to include tribe (The Arkansas Democrat Gazette 11/1)
Poultry industry attacks Oklahoma federal lawsuit (The Oklahoman 11/1)