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.