North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed a bill that would provide protection to hog farms from lawsuits. The bill passed by state lawmakers aimed to protect the ability of farms to “operate as surrounding development encroaches” and protect farms from” frivolous nuisance lawsuits.” Governor Cooper stated following his veto: “While agriculture is vital to North Carolina’s economy, so property rights are vital to people’s homes and other businesses.”
Further, Cooper stated that giving one industry special treatment at the expense of its neighbors is unfair. Lawmakers in the state passed the bill after $50 million in damages were awarded to neighbors of a hog operation in the state. A federal judge later slashes the award to $2.5 million. Other similar nuisance lawsuits in the state are expected to follow, with one lawsuit already in progress.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.