$473.5 Million Verdict in North Carolina Hog Farm Lawsuit

 

(Reuters) - A federal jury in North Carolina has awarded $473.5 million to six residents near a North Carolina hog farm run by Murphy-Brown LLC, a unit of U.S. pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc, after they sued the company over management of the animals.

The jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina awarded $3 million to $5 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive damages to each of the six people, according to a court filing on Friday.

The company did not respond to a request for comment outside regular business hours.

The lawsuit had accused Murphy Brown of not taking adequate steps to manage the number of hogs on the farm, leading to odor and the possibility of disease, according to an amended court complaint filed in May.

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