X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
In 1999, a barn housing chickens on the Buckeye Egg Farm outside Columbus, Ohio, began leaking manure into a local creek, killing the fish and fouling the area. That same spring, the farm had another major spill, sending ammonium fertilizer into a different creek. Shortly thereafter, said plaintiffs’ attorney Joel Campbell, nearby property owners sued Buckeye and its owner, Anton Pohlman, charging negligence, nuisance and trespass. In addition to the pollution, said Campbell, the plaintiffs contended that the operation had caused a massive infestation of flies. The farm had been on the site since the early 1980s, but grew significantly in the past decade, Campbell said. The operation now has more than 7 million chickens, but, he said, the manure management process has not kept up with the growth. Campbell said that in the ’80s, “Buckeye was authorized by the state [Environmental Protection Agency] to grow that high,” but has since received numerous citations for violations of environmental rules. Each of the plaintiffs testified at trial about “how it affected their day-to-day lives,” said Campbell. “They testified they haven’t been able to sit on their back porch for years because of the flies.” The defendants conceded that there were some environmental problems, said defense counsel Thomas Rosenberg. “But most were issues between us and the Ohio EPA, and the problems did not affect the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs’ damages were not in the neighborhood of their claims.” The farm has committed $50 million to $60 million to address the problems, he said. On Sept. 9, a Newark, Ohio, jury awarded the plaintiffs $19.7 million, including $15.7 million in punitives. The jury also awarded the plaintiffs an as-yet-undetermined amount of attorneys’ fees. The defendants are weighing their options, including settlement negotiations, post-trial motions and a possible bankruptcy filing, said Rosenberg. The plaintiffs’ attorneys were David Bertsch, David Hilkert and Peter Hahn of Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs in Akron, Ohio; and Joel Campbell and John Sproat of Britt, Campbell, Nagel & Sproat in Columbus, Ohio. The defense attorneys were Thomas Rosenberg and Rex Littrell of Ulmer & Berne, also in Columbus.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.