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Jurors Slap Pork Giant Smithfield With $25M For Nuisances

A hog farm in Lyons, Georgia.
Jeff Vanuga, USDA NRCS

A federal jury is punishing the world's largest pork producer with a $25 million verdict after jurors decided that two neighbors of a hog farm suffered unreasonable nuisances from flies, buzzards and rumbling trucks tied to an industrial-scale hog grower.

The jury's verdict Friday ends a five-week trial where attorneys for Smithfield Foods expected to present their best arguments.

It's the second in a series of cases in which more than 500 neighbors of industrial-scale hog farms have targeted the Virginia-based, Chinese-owned company for its open-pit waste handling methods.

Lawyers for the neighbors picked the first case to be tried. That ended in April with jurors awarding 10 neighbors $51 million. The fine was cut to about $3 million because North Carolina law limits punitive damages.

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