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Judge rules no punishing Smithfield Foods in nuisance case

(WITN)
Published: Dec. 13, 2018 at 4:05 PM EST
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A federal judge in North Carolina is shutting down a lawsuit against a Smithfield Foods hog feeding operation before jurors who determined the company nuisanced neighbors discussed punishing the pork giant.

U.S. District Judge David Faber on Thursday declared there wasn't enough evidence for neighbors to pursue punitive damages.

Jurors in Raleigh determined on Wednesday that eight neighbors of a Smithfield Foods animal feeding operation in Sampson County housing up to 7,000 swine should be compensated with between $100 and $75,000 each. Neighbors cited odors, flies and noises from the Sholar Farm.

Jurors in three related cases decided Smithfield Foods should pay nearly $550 million in penalties, which were reduced under a state law limiting punishment.

Smithfield Foods said it believes the lawsuits are an abuse of the legal system.

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