Smithfield Foods

Left Out


newspaper-154444_1280Emery Dalesio’s a respected reporter with the Associated Press, and he just wrote a story about the second nuisance lawsuit against Smithfield Foods.

He reported how Smithfield Foods’ lawyers didn’t want jurors to hear about Smithfield’s finances and its profits until after the jury has decided whether neighbors were harmed and should be compensated. Fair enough. That happened.But Mr. Dalesio didn’t mention another omission: How the plaintiffs’ lawyers don’t want the jurors to hear that, five years ago, a group of lawyers went door-to-door recruiting clients by telling hog farmers’ neighbors, ‘We’ll bring the lawsuit, we’ll pay the bills, and if we win you could get part of the money.’During the first nuisance trial the lawyers suing Smithfield pictured the plaintiffs as victims struggling to end years of torment – but no one ever mentioned they also had financial motive as well. Because the plaintiffs’ lawyers didn’t want it mentioned.But isn’t the lawyer’s money and the plaintiffs’ hope of making money as much a part of the trial as Smithfield’s finances?Note: the original lawyers were replaced by the current out-of-state ones. 

Smithfield Foods to Appeal Nuisance Lawsuit Verdict

A statement was released by Smithfield Foods regarding the recent verdict of the nuisance lawsuits. It is as follows:

Smithfield Foods Statement Regarding North Carolina Verdict

We are extremely disappointed by the verdict. We will appeal to the Fourth Circuit, and we are confident we will prevail. We believe the outcome would have been different if the court had allowed the jury to (1) visit the plaintiffs’ properties and the Kinlaw farm and (2) hear additional vital evidence, especially the results of our expert’s odor-monitoring tests.These lawsuits are an outrageous attack on animal agriculture, rural North Carolina and thousands of independent family farmers who own and operate contract farms. These farmers are apparently not safe from attack even if they fully comply with all federal, state and local laws and regulations. The lawsuits are a serious threat to a major industry, to North Carolina’s entire economy and to the jobs and livelihoods of tens of thousands of North Carolinians.From the beginning, the lawsuits have been nothing more than a money grab by a big litigation machine. Plaintiffs’ original lawyers promised potential plaintiffs a big payday. Those lawyers were condemned by a North Carolina state court for unethical practices. Plaintiffs’ counsel at trial relied heavily on anti-agriculture, anti-corporate rhetoric rather than the real facts in the case. These practices are abuses of our legal system, and we will continue to fight them.—Statement by Keira Lombardo, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Smithfield Foods, Inc.