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Second Hog Farm Nuisance Trial Underway in Raleigh

Testimony has begun in the second of potentially dozens of nuisance lawsuits expected to be filed in North Carolina against Smithfield Foods’ Murphy-Brown unit, challenging its hog waste disposal practices.

Neighbors contend odors and sprayed waste are a nuisance and want to pressure Smithfield to adopt newer, more costly technology.

Smithfield Chief Executive Ken Sullivan was reported in the Wall Street Journal as saying the company might need “to revisit whether we can continue doing business in North Carolina.”

In a similar public nuisance case last month, a federal jury in Raleigh awarded more than $50 million in damages to neighbors of a hog operation that contracts with Murphy-Brown. A state law capping punitive damages reduced the award to about $3 million.