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Judge reduces settlement in NC hog confinement case

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A federal judge is choosing to lower damage compensation for residents affected by a nearby hog confinement.

In late April, a federal jury ruled in favor of ten North Carolina residents filing a nuisance lawsuit in regards to a nearby hog confinement, Murphy Brown LLC. The plaintiffs claimed waste from the nearby hog confinement, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, limited their access to the outdoors due to a foul odor. They also cited concerns of buzzards and flies, which were attracted to the farm’s open waste lagoons.

The jury agreed to a $50 million settlement as a result of the nuisance lawsuit. Politico reports a federal judge on Tuesday minimized the payment value to $2.5 million. North Carolina state law only allows for punitive damages up to three times the compensatory damages.

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