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“Court Upholds Hog Verdict; Smithfield Announces Settlement”

“RALEIGH, N.C. — A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld a 2018 jury verdict that led to awarding monetary damages to neighbors of a North Carolina industrial hog operation for smells and noise they said made living nearby unbearable.

But judges ruled the jurors’ multimillion-dollar awards — intended to penalize a subsidiary of the world’s largest pork producer for wrongdoing — were unfairly weighed against its corporate assets and must be reconsidered.

The decisions by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, came hours before Smithfield Foods said it had put an end to this and similar nuisance cases filed by North Carolina residents either already on appeal that went against the company or hadn’t gone to trial. “

Gary D. Robertson reports for the Associated Press November 19, 2020.