A Jackson County, Mo. jury has awarded $11 million to a group of farmers who live near hog operations operated by Premium Standard Farms, according to the Kansas City Star. On Thursday, the jury made the decision after deliberating about eight hours.
Plaintiffs said odors from the operations nauseated them and forced them to stay indoors with the windows shut. The case was the second time the 15 plaintiffs have sued Premium Standard over odors, according to the Kansas City Star report. The first time, in 1999, they were among a total of 52 farmers who received $5.2 million total, or $100,000 each.
They sued again because the odor problems haven’t been fixed, said Charlie Speer, the Kansas City attorney representing them.
Officials for Premium Standard Farms, which owns the Gentry County operation, said in a prepared statement that they would appeal the ruling.
“In light of this decision and in view of the continuing hostile environment toward live hog production, we have serious concerns whether we will ever make any future investments in the state of Missouri,” said Premium Standard Farms officials. The hog production group is owned by Smithfield Foods.
The jury awarded 13 plaintiffs $850,000 each, a 14th plaintiff received $250,000 and the 15th plaintiff received $75,000.
Source: Kansas City Star