Seventh Circuit Rules in Favor of Indiana CAFO in Nuisance Lawsuit
By Andy Bowman, Attorney, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP
On July 3, 2013, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago affirmed a September 2012 decision by the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis in favor of a large swine farm, Country View Family Farms, LLC. Greg Neibarger and Ken Munson of Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP represented the swine producer in this case involving agricultural nuisance claims against a concentrated animal feeding operation and the application of Indiana’s Right to Farm Act (the “Act”). The case was brought by six neighbors claiming that the odor associated with a 2,800 sow farm operation in Randolph County, Indiana constituted a nuisance. Counsel for the plaintiffs had previously defeated Right to Farm laws in several states, including Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Nebraska and won multi-million dollar verdicts against large meat producers and growers. However in this Indiana case, the swine producer, land owner and land applicator successfully applied the Act and defeated plaintiffs’ attempt to trigger the statutory negligent operation exception that would have made the Act’s protections unavailable to them. This case demonstrates the importance of taking preventative measures to preserve Indiana’s Right to Farm Act protections.
To view a complete PDF of the May/June 2013 issue of the Environmental Letter, click HERE.