Settlement reached in hog odor case

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Premium Standard Farms (PSF), a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, reached a settlement with nearly 300 Missourians who sued the company because of hog odors.

"This agreement effectively brings the Missouri nuisance litigation to a close and allows PSF to focus its entire efforts on what it does best: providing families with wholesome, nutritious food and creating jobs in Northern Missouri," said Jean Paul Bradshaw of Lathrop & Gage LLP, co-counsel for PSF along with McGuireWoods LLP.

Based in Princeton, Mo., PSF has been the focus of multiple lawsuits. In March 2010, a jury awarded 15 plaintiffs more than $11 million in a lawsuit over the odors from a PSF hog operation in northern Missouri. Plaintiffs in the case complained their quality of life was harmed because of the odors. However, PSF argued the odors are a normal part of life in an agricultural area.

"The settlement announced today represents the culmination of a long battle," said Stephen Weiss, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs. "After four grueling trials over the past six years alone, we were prepared to litigate each claim, but this agreement hammered out between the parties is a fair and just resolution of what not long ago seemed to be an irresolvable dispute."

Details of the settlement were not released.

PSF’s initiative to reduce barn odor started in 1999. The company's efforts resulted in the development of barn scrapers and a sustainable-technology system. By 2010, the company had spent $40 million implementing improved environmental technologies, including lagoon covers and land application technologies.

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