A jury deliberated for less than two days before awarding 10 plaintiffs $50 million in a hog nuisance lawsuit against Murphy-Brown/Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer.
According to the verdict sheet, the jury unanimously agreed that Murphy-Brown, which owns the hogs at Kinlaw Farms in Bladen County, “substantially and unreasonably interfered with the plaintiff’s use and enjoyment of their property.” The jury awarded each of the plaintiffs $75,000 on those grounds.
But the jury also had the latitude to award punitive damages. They did so: $5 million for each plaintiff. In sum, the plaintiffs, ranging in age from their teens to 85, were awarded a total of $50.7 million. [Read more…]
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