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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Mountaire Farms Lawsuit Over Water Contamination Revisited


In 2001, Mountaire Farms settled a lawsuit with 800 members of a class alleging contamination of subterranean water as a result of inadequate effluent treatment. As a condition of the settlement, Mountaire upgraded water treatment at their Millsboro, DE. plant involving the expenditure of $120 million.  The settlement settled a dispute over a 2017 wastewater permit issued by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

More recently, a family with a child born with developmental defects has claimed that they were improperly advised at the time of the settlement that provided inadequate compensation for the costs that will be incurred.  A Delaware Superior Court judge has ruled that the family was adequately advised concerning their rights to opt out of the settlement and that there is insufficient evidence to implicate the disabilities with alleged contamination by Mountaire Farms.  The case is now being appealed to the Delaware Supreme Court with the family represented by a prominent legal firm with expertise in claiming compensation for environmental contamination.

Should the family be successful in their appeal, and prevail in a subsequent action, the precedent that will be established will have implications for the livestock industry both at the CAFO and processing plant levels.

Copyright © 2024 Simon M. Shane