Eighteen neighbors of Cooper Farms and Pharaoh Ltd. pork operations in northwestern Ohio filed a class action lawsuit alleging the farms discharged chemicals and manure into the air and onto their land.

The plaintiffs allege Cooper and Pharaoh were negligent in operation of their facilities and caused intrusion of odors and a nuisance on their property since 1999.

The suit also alleges the defendants have been exposed to "severe manure spray, dust and odors" and contaminated surface and groundwater at their homes for the past four years.

The plaintiffs maintain the farms have "failed to ... reduce ... levels of contaminants or discharge of odors or airborne particles or waste."

The neighbors also contend the farm has too many hogs on the premises.

Each of the 18 plaintiffs claims to have suffered permanent and personal injuries, including claims of pain and suffering, lost earnings, and medical expenses in excess of $20,000. Each is seeking at least $275,000 for the loss of use and enjoyment of their property and the reduction of its value, nuisance, annoyance and health risk.

Farm and Dairy