Verdict: What they’re saying

By: Alan Wooten - Bladen Journal
The Associated Press A federal jury decided Friday that the world's largest pork producer should pay $473.5 million to neighbors of three North Carolina industrial-scale hog farms for unreasonable nuisances they suffered from odors, flies and rumbling trucks.
The Associated Press A federal jury decided Friday that the world's largest pork producer should pay $473.5 million to neighbors of three North Carolina industrial-scale hog farms for unreasonable nuisances they suffered from odors, flies and rumbling trucks.

On Friday, a federal jury said Smithfield Foods should pay neighbors of three industrial-scale hog farms owned by a White Lake businessman $473.5 million.

The nuisance lawsuit, the third of 26 scheduled for trial and all won by plaintiffs, said the six neighbors suffered from odors, flies and rumbling trucks. The agriculture facilities belong to HD3 Farms of the Carolinas, a company owned by Dean Hilton, and are located in Pender County.

Judge Earl Britt’s gag order remains in effect, keeping trial participants quiet. But elsewhere, here’s a sampling of reaction to the verdict:

“We need to come up with model legislation, we need to figure out what the federal government should do. We need to send a very clear message to the trial lawyers: We’re bigger than you when we coordinate. Literally, while this meeting has been going on, another blow has been struck.”

Thom Tillis, U.S. senator for North Carolina, at a roundtable agriculture meeting while the verdict was being announced

“These juries are repeatedly seeing problems with the kind of waste management that’s used. Clearly it’s time for the state and the industry to take a hard look at their waste management and modernize it so the public is protected.”

Cassie Gavin, lobbyist for the N.C. Sierra Club

“This verdict will spread from eastern North Carolina to all corners of American agriculture.”

N.C. Pork Council

“This is pitting neighbor against neighbor, and community against community. And it could spread across America and handicap the greatest food system in the world.”

Zippy Duval, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, and a third-generation farmer from Georgia

“It’s a ripple effect that would devastate our communities. You want to talk about a welfare state? Lose agriculture in eastern North Carolina. We will not exist.”

John Bell, a North Carolina House Republican from Wayne County

“We don’t have to choose between having agriculture in North Carolina and other communities. We can have both and it’s time for the people that were at this meeting who spoke today to advocate for that.”

Matthew Star, Upper Neuse Riverkeeper

The Associated Press
A federal jury decided Friday that the world’s largest pork producer should pay $473.5 million to neighbors of three North Carolina industrial-scale hog farms for unreasonable nuisances they suffered from odors, flies and rumbling trucks.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_hogfarm1-3-5.jpgThe Associated Press
A federal jury decided Friday that the world’s largest pork producer should pay $473.5 million to neighbors of three North Carolina industrial-scale hog farms for unreasonable nuisances they suffered from odors, flies and rumbling trucks.

The Associated Press
A federal jury decided Friday that the world’s largest pork producer should pay $473.5 million to neighbors of three North Carolina industrial-scale hog farms for unreasonable nuisances they suffered from odors, flies and rumbling trucks.
https://www.bladenjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_hogfarm2-2-2-5.jpgThe Associated Press
A federal jury decided Friday that the world’s largest pork producer should pay $473.5 million to neighbors of three North Carolina industrial-scale hog farms for unreasonable nuisances they suffered from odors, flies and rumbling trucks.

Alan Wooten

Bladen Journal

Alan Wooten can be reached at 910-247-9132 or awooten@bladenjournal.com.

Alan Wooten can be reached at 910-247-9132 or awooten@bladenjournal.com.