hog nuisance trial

Jury awards plaintiffs $420,000 as Smithfield loses fifth hog nuisance trial

BY: - March 11, 2019

Lendora Farland is nicknamed “Sunshine,” but her testimony last month in federal court illustrated the misery her family has endured, caused, she said, by the stench and flies from a nearby industrialized hog farm in Duplin County. “The smell is like when a baby has a fever and diarrhea,” Farland, who is a certified nursing […]

The case against Murphy-Brown: Inside North Carolina’s latest blockbuster hog trial

BY: - December 13, 2018

Shortly after 10 o’clock yesterday morning, a federal jury in the hog nuisance case Gillis vs. Murphy-Brown delivered the news: Hung. After a fortnight of patiently listening to plaintiffs’ and defendants’ testimony, and two days of deliberation, the panel of eight women and two men declared they were deadlocked...

Hog trial drama: Defense attorney invokes Clint Eastwood, implies plaintiffs are liars in closing argument

BY: - December 7, 2018

Midway through Robert Thaxton’s closing arguments in the recent hog nuisance trial, the attorney for Smithfield Foods displayed a photo of a movie poster for Pale Rider, a 1985 Western starring Clint Eastwood. In the film, a mysterious justice-seeking preacher played by Eastwood tries...

Gag order lifted for hog nuisance trials involving Smithfield

BY: - August 31, 2018

  Plaintiffs and defendants involved in high-profile hog nuisance lawsuits can speak more freely to the media now that a gag order has been lifted, according to a ruling issued today by US District Court Senior Judge Earl Britt. On June 27, during the second trial, Britt had issued a gag order prohibiting parties involved […]

Smithfield loses its third hog nuisance case, jury awards plaintiffs $473 million in damages

BY: - August 3, 2018

See today’s story on NC Policy Watch about yesterday’s closing arguments in this case. A federal jury took just three hours to award six plaintiffs a total of $473 million in compensatory and punitive damages against Smithfield, the world’s largest pork producer. The jury, which was nearly all white and majority female, awarded each of […]