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Smithfield Foods announced Thursday that it had reached a settlement with plaintiffs who had sued the company over the stench, flies, buzzards, and truck traffic coming from its industrial swine farms in North Carolina. The announcement came immediately after the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, rejected a call from the world’s largest pork producer for a retrial in a lower court case it had lost.
Juries in 2018 and 2019 had awarded hog farm neighbors almost $550 million. The U.S. District Court in Raleigh, North Carolina, knocked the awards down to about $98 million because of a state law capping punitive damages.