Jury Award Increases in 3rd North Carolina Nuisance Lawsuit

August 16, 2018

In early August, the third nuisance trial against Smithfield Foods ended with the jury awarding $473.5 million to six neighbors of a Smithfield-associated farm. The jury awarded $23.5 million in compensatory damages and $450 million punitive damages. Given state laws that limit punitive damages, this will be reduced to a total of $94 million.

This case follows two previous losses.  Smithfield Foods seems to have a long road ahead, as this is only the third of 26 similar lawsuits scheduled to be heard in North Carolina.   North Carolina legislators have adopted a new farm protection act; however, it will protect farms from future lawsuits, but not those currently filed.  Analysis and commentary on the successful arguments can be found in US News and Insurance Journal.