$11 Million Verdict – Premium Standard Farms

Missouri Court of Appeals Affirms $11 Million Factory Farm Verdict Seeger Weiss LLP is pleased to report that the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western Division, today affirmed a landmark jury verdict obtained by the firm on behalf of fifteen family farmers forced to endure years of life-degrading stench put up by neighboring factory hog farm […]

March 29, 2011

farm pigs

Missouri Court of Appeals Affirms $11 Million Factory Farm Verdict

Seeger Weiss LLP is pleased to report that the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western Division, today affirmed a landmark jury verdict obtained by the firm on behalf of fifteen family farmers forced to endure years of life-degrading stench put up by neighboring factory hog farm operator, Premium Standard Farms. On March 4, 2010, a jury sitting in Kansas City, Missouri rendered an $11,050,000 judgment against PSF and its former corporate affiliate, ContiGroup Companies, for odor nuisances committed by the defendants’ northern Missouri factory farm. The verdict was the largest known of its kind nationwide against a factory hog operator.

Seeger Weiss founding partner Stephen A. Weiss, along with co-trial counsel Richard H. Middleton, Jr. of Savannah, GA, and Charles F. Speer of Kansas City, MO, demonstrated to the Jackson County, MO jury that the waste odor produced by approximately 200,000 hogs grown annually at PSF’s factory farm constituted unlawful interference with the use and enjoyment of the neighboring claimants’ properties located in Gentry County, MO. The verdict followed a similar one in September 2006 whereby six neighbors of PSF’s Scott-Colby Farm in Daviess County, MO were awarded $4.5 million.

Following PSF’s appeal of this latest verdict, the Missouri Court of Appeals issued an unanimous opinion on March 29, 2011, denying the appeal in all respects. In upholding the award, the appellate court noted that “PSF’s hog operations emitted numerous gases and chemicals,” and that the plaintiffs “experienced great distress as a result of the odor.” Although the appellate decision was welcome news to the fifteen individuals who have been embattled in litigation with PSF and ContiGroup for over a decade, there remain some 260 additional individuals represented by Seeger Weiss who await their day in court. Said Mr. Weiss: “Most of these folks have lived on their land during their entire lifetime, and some of the properties have been in the family for a century or more. I and my co-counsel will not relent until the last of our clients have been vindicated.”

[***Update: In 2012, following multiple jury trials in Kansas City and northern Missouri, PSF and ContiGroup entered into a confidential global settlement resolving the claims of Seeger Weiss’s remaining 300+ clients in this decade-long odor nuisance litigation.]

Related News

June 7, 2024
Seeger Weiss Receives Highest Honors in 2024 Chambers Guide

Seeger Weiss is proud to announce that the firm, alongside partners Chris Seeger and Dave Buchanan, has been recognized in Band 1 for Product Liability: Plaintiffs in the newly released Chambers 2024 USA Guide. Additionally, partner Benjamin Barnett has been recognized for his contributions to E-Discovery & Information Governance. For more than 30 years, Chambers […]

Read More
May 24, 2024
Lawdragon Names Nine Seeger Weiss Partners to 500 Plaintiff Financial Lawyers List

Seeger Weiss is proud to announce that Lawdragon recognized nine partners — Chris Seeger, Stephen Weiss, David Buchanan, Shauna Itri, Jennifer Scullion, Chris Ayers, Ben Barnett, Parvin Aminolroaya, and Steve Daroci — on the 2024 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers list. This guide, first published in 2007 by Lawdragon Inc., presents Lawdragon’s opinion of “the […]

Read More
May 13, 2024
Seeger Weiss, Chris Seeger Named Elite Trial Lawyers Plaintiff Firm of the Year and Plaintiff Attorney of the Year Finalists; Parvin Aminolroaya Wins Elite Women of the Plaintiffs Bar Award

Seeger Weiss is pleased to announce that the firm and several of its partners have won or are finalists for multiple 2024 National Law Journal Elite Trial Lawyers Awards. Seeger Weiss was named a finalist for: Plaintiffs Firm of the Year Environmental Protection Practice Group of the Year Government Representation Practice Group of the Year […]

Read More