Smithfield Trial: An Odd Development

When you boil away all the motions and counter-motions the second nuisance trial against Smithfield Foods comes down to one question: Odor. Is odor from Joey Carter’s hog farm an unbearable nuisance for the two neighbors suing him?When the lawyers suing Smithfield presented their case they called an expert witness on odor, a professor from Clarkson University in New York, to testify – and Shane Rogers told the jury he’d proved scientifically that odor from hog farms had reached neighbors houses.Then an odd thing happened.When the time came for the lawyers for Smithfield Foods to call their own odor expert, to testify about her own scientific studies, and to explain why Rogers was wrong, the lawyer on the other side, Michael Kaeske, objected – telling the judge that he should not allow Dr. Pamela Dalton to testify about her scientific studies.And the judge agreed. And ruled Dr. Dalton couldn’t tell the jury what she’d found on the Carter farm as a scientist – though she could testify, subjectively, as someone who’d visited the farm.Doesn’t that sound odd? An expert couldn’t testify about her scientific studies measuring odor during a trial about odor?