FILE- In this July 21, 2017, file a hog house is reflected in an adjacent waste pond at a farm that has hogs owned by Smithfield Foods in Farmville, N.C. Jury selection began Tuesday, May 29, 2018, in a Raleigh federal courthouse for the second trial over claims the method in which Hong Kong-owned, Virginia-based Smithfield Foods raises hogs caused a number of problems for neighbors after the operations moved in. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Jurors slap pork giant Smithfield with $25M for nuisances

June 29, 2018 - 5:24 pm

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal jury is punishing the world's largest pork producer with a $25 million verdict after jurors decided that two neighbors of a hog farm suffered unreasonable nuisances from flies, buzzards and rumbling trucks tied to an industrial-scale hog grower.

The jury's verdict Friday ends a five-week trial where attorneys for Smithfield Foods expected to present their best arguments.

It's the second in a series of cases in which more than 500 neighbors of industrial-scale hog farms have targeted the Virginia-based, Chinese-owned company for its open-pit waste handling methods.

Lawyers for the neighbors picked the first case to be tried. That ended in April with jurors awarding 10 neighbors $51 million. The fine was cut to about $3 million because North Carolina law limits punitive damages.

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