JEANNIE MAE BARDEN, et al. v. MURPHY-BROWN LLC, and ) SMITHFIELD FOODS, INC.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Southern Division, granted a motion for summary judgement in favor of Smithfield Foods, Inc. (“Smithfield”) and Murphy-Brown LLC, a Smithfield subsidiary, against nuisance claims related to hog waste brought by 18 North Carolina residents. The residents claimed in their lawsuit that Vestal Farms, a hog farm supplying Smithfield, trespassed upon their properties and acted negligently by emitting hog waste as a “juice,” “spray,” and “mist.” In granting summary judgment to Smithfield and the other defendant, the court found that the “plaintiffs have failed to present any non-speculative or non-conclusory evidence establishing what substances are allegedly injuring them and who or what caused them to be on plaintiffs’ property.”
[To accompany Case Law Update "Federal Court Throws Out Hog Waste Nuisance Claims Against Smithfield" from Brooks Animal Law Digest Issue No. 203]