A judge’s order forbids farmers and their neighbors from discussing the recent run of abusive and predatory lawsuits against pork farmers in North Carolina. Lawyers for the American Farm Bureau Federation and the North Carolina Farm Bureau filed a brief asking for the order to be overturned. Although their law-abiding farms have been labeled a “nuisance” by trial lawyers seeking multi-million-dollar verdicts from urban juries, the farmers and their neighbors can’t talk about it. They can’t talk about the conditions and practices on their farms and the devastating effects of the lawsuits on their rural communities.
Trial lawyers actively solicited hundreds of plaintiffs to assert nuisance allegations in dozens of lawsuits against Murphy Brown, LLC. While the company is the only named defendant, most of the farms are independently owned family farms, which stand to lose their production contracts and their livelihoods as a result of the litigation. The brief denounced the chilling effect the gag order will have on the American Farm Bureau, as well as the North Carolina Farm Bureau, for years to come if the order is not lifted.
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