The Cherokee Nation had asked to intervene so it could try claims it has against the poultry producers. But Judge Frizzell said that would likely trigger a lengthy delay. Last year's ruling cleared the way for the case to go to trial. Frizzell said the tribe can still bring a separate lawsuit against the companies.
In 2005, Attorney General Drew Edmondson sued the companies. He claims chicken waste produced in the Illinois River watershed has caused environmental damage.