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December 13, 2018
Source: North Carolina Pork Council
The federal jury in the fourth North Carolina nuisance lawsuit returned Wednesday with their decision, once again siding with neighbors who complained that one of the state's hog farms was a nuisance and damaged how they lived their lives. The jury found that the eight neighbors of the Samson County farm should be compensated between $100 and $75,000.
In the three previous cases, jurors had ruled that Smithfield Foods should pay nearly $550 million in penalties; however those figures will be reduced due to a state law that limits punishment.
In a statement regarding the Sholar Farms verdict, the North Carolina Pork Council said:
“We have been concerned, from the very beginning, about the way these cases were tried and the threat they pose to our industry. It is gratifying to have a judge rule, as a matter of law, that Murphy-Brown is not willfully harming its neighbors or operating with malice and that no punitive damages should be awarded in this case.
“While we disagree that this farm is considered a nuisance, we are grateful that the jury rejected the plaintiffs’ attorney’s plea to award millions of dollars to neighbors who live near a well-run hog farm.
“We continue to believe that the handling of previous cases deserves careful review in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals."
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