“On paper it looks like they’re suing Smithfield Foods, but the farmer is the one on trial,” Overman said. “Once the trial is over and the verdict is read, the farms are depopulated, leaving the farmer with no income. The juries have awarded huge damages, even though all of these farms were in compliance with the law.”

Capital Press

Farmers Under Fire: Trial Lawyers’ Attack on Agriculture

NEW ORLEANS, January 15, 2019 – Agriculture is in the crosshairs as class-action lawsuits seek huge monetary awards against agricultural producers, said a panel of experts at a workshop at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 100th Annual Convention.

Panelists Andy Curliss, CEO of the North Carolina Pork Council; Harrison Pittman, director of the National Agriculture Law Center and Blake Hurst, president of the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation, discussed the recent lawsuits targeting production agriculture and suggested actions that state Farm Bureaus can take to fight these targeted attacks.

AFB Women’s Leadership Committee member Lorenda Overman, moderator of the panel, summarized the law firms’ strategy in North Carolina and the effect of the verdicts on farmers.

“On paper it looks like they’re suing Smithfield Foods, but the farmer is the one on trial,” Overman said. “Once the trial is over and the verdict is read, the farms are depopulated, leaving the farmer with no income. The juries have awarded huge damages, even though all of these farms were in compliance with the law.”

Curliss said that four recent trials in North Carolina have resulted in more than $550 million in damages for 26 plaintiffs, with hundreds of other plaintiffs currently awaiting trials.

In July 2018, a North Carolina jury awarded more than $25 million in a lawsuit against Smithfield Foods, alleging the hog farm owned by Joey Carter was a nuisance, despite the fact that Carter had always followed and exceeded the state’s laws, invested in modern technologies and responded promptly to any concerns raised by his neighbors.

If it can happen to Joey Carter, it can happen to anyone, anywhere,” said Curliss. “There were 75 “new houses built after the farm was in place. I ask you: Is that a nuisance?”

Continue reading here


Free Range Report

Thank you for reading our latest report, but before you go…

Our loyalty is to the truth and to YOU, our readers!
We respect your reading experience, and have refrained from putting up a paywall and obnoxious advertisements, which means that we get by on small donations from people like you. We’re not asking for much, but any amount that you can give goes a long way to securing a better future for the people who make America great.

For as little as $1 you can support Free Range Report, and it takes only a moment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.