WASHINGTON, D.C.– A jury verdict Friday against a North Carolina hog farm in favor of plaintiffs who lodged unwarranted nuisance claims sets a dangerous precedent for American livestock agriculture, according to Jim Heimerl, president of the National Pork Producers Council and a hog farmer from Johnstown, Ohio. The following statement can be attributed to Heimerl:
“For the second time in as many months, a North Carolina verdict has come back in favor of plaintiffs after a jury was prevented from visiting the farm subjected to baseless claims. We are deeply troubled by this decision against a farm that has operated responsibly and in compliance with state laws since 1985 and that maintains the highest standards of environmental and community stewardship.
“American hog farmers already face serious headwinds, including export market uncertainty caused by ongoing trade disputes. We can’t allow trial-lawyer abuse of our legal system to continue as it threatens the livelihood of livestock farming families, undermines the rural economy and unnecessarily increases food prices for consumers.”