A federal judge has awarded more than $50 million in damages to neighbors of a North Carolina farmer who produced hogs for Smithfield Foods. The neighbors had complained that the smells, noise and other disturbances made it impossible for the neighbors to enjoy their homes, according to the Washington Post.
The lawsuit covered 10 neighbors of a 15,000-head swine operation in Bladen County. It targeted the hog production division of Smithfield Foods. According to the AP report, the decision is the first in dozens of lawsuits filed by more than 500 neighbors complaining about hog operations.
Smithfield Foods said it would appeal the decision.
“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,” Senior Vice President Keira Lombardo said in a statement.