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Statement by Smithfield Foods Regarding North Carolina Lawsuit Appeal

Smithfield Foods

Featured

January 31, 2020

SMITHFIELD, Virginia (January 31, 2020)—Today, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, comprised of Judge G. Steven Agee, Judge Stephanie D. Thacker and Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, heard oral argument in the company’s appeal of the first of a series of trials in the North Carolina hog farm nuisance litigation. These lawsuits threaten animal agriculture, rural North Carolina’s economy and the thousands of hard-working farmers who own and operate family farms in full compliance with federal, state and local regulations.

“This suit is the tip of a spear aimed at North Carolina’s agricultural economy,” the company’s appeal brief says. “…A great deal depends on the outcome of these coordinated lawsuits, including the livelihoods of many in eastern North Carolina’s predominantly agricultural communities.”

In the court filings, the company’s legal team outlined seven critical errors made at trial related to judicial process and the application of law that improperly influenced the outcome of the case under appeal, as well as the four subsequent trials, fostering more runaway verdicts. Full audio of today’s oral argument will be available in the coming days here.

“After years of litigation, we are pleased to have the opportunity to bring our arguments before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. We are hopeful that the judges will remedy the errors of the trial court and protect the rights of an independent family farm that has been operating for 25 years without any regulatory violation and without neighbor complaints,” said Keira Lombardo, executive vice president, corporate affairs and compliance, Smithfield Foods.

About Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Headquartered in Smithfield, Va. since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Our 40,000 U.S. employees are dedicated to producing “Good food. Responsibly.®” and have made us one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein companies. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including many industry firsts, such as our ambitious commitment to cut our carbon impact by 25 percent by 2025. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to our neighbors in need. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich® and Nathan’s Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

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