BALTIMORE, Md. – Perdue Farms filed post-trial statements in which the company asserted that the Waterkeeper Alliance failed to prove a poultry producer under contract with Perdue polluted local waters and failed to show that Perdue Farms was responsible for the actions of its contractors.
In the lawsuit, the Waterkeeper Alliance alleged that chicken manure from Berlin, Md.-based Hudson Farm was polluting local waters that ultimately flow to the Chesapeake Bay. The group argued that Perdue Farms also should be liable for it. Hudson Farm is an independent contractor for Perdue Farms.
"Our post-trial statement reinforces the same facts we put forth during the trial: this was nothing more than an unwarranted attack on contemporary animal agriculture by well-funded but misguided environmental activists who showed no concern for the farm family they wrongly accused," the company said in a statement. "Despite having their own lawyers and free access to the taxpayer-funded Univ. of Maryland Environmental Law Clinic, the Waterkeeper Alliance and Assateague Coastal Trust failed to prove that the poultry houses on the Hudson family farm were a source of pollution, or that Perdue was responsible for the actions of its independent contractors.
"In fact, after three years of changing accusations, their argument came down to the ridiculous assumption that any chicken house with a door or a fan is a source of pollution and therefore likely in violation of the Clean Water Act. While we're prepared for any outcome, we look forward to being vindicated by the judge’s ruling."
Responses are due by Nov. 21, and closing arguments are tentatively scheduled for Nov. 30.