Wallace & Graham represents more than 500 plaintiffs in lawsuits against hog producer Murphy-Brown, LLC. The plaintiffs are homeowners who live near the factory farms. They claim that Murphy-Brown has put thousands of hogs at the sites without taking steps to reduce foul odors, flies, pollution and other problems. They claim that Murphy-Brown has the means to reduce the nuisance but has not done so.
The Court has issued two important new Orders in the cases. In the first Order, the Court denied Murphy-Brown’s request to dismiss the claims for any damages except “lost rental value.” The Court stated that “Because annoyance and discomfort damages may be available, the court finds that dismissal of plaintiffs’ ‘claims’ for such damages would be premature at this early stage in litigation.” To see this order, click here.
The Court also entered a second Order that addressed Murphy-Brown’s effort to strike numerous facts from the Complaint. Among other things, the Court instructed the parties that allegations regarding the pork exports to China and the Chinese companies involved in the enterprise can remain. The Court instructed: “The court declines to strike plaintiffs’ allegations regarding Chinese and other corporations which are part of defendant’s corporate structure. Further, it will not strike allegations regarding exports of pork to China and Chinese demand for and purchases of pork. Because these allegations address a potential source of the alleged nuisance and provide potentially useful contextual information, it is not clear they ‘have no possible bearing upon the subject matter of the litigation . . . .’” The Court also instructed that while the Plaintiffs could not use photographs in their complaints, they may be able to use them for other purposes as the cases move along. To see this order, click here.
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