A Cedar County Missouri couple has reached a $1.1 Million settlement against the operators of a hog farm, the hog supplier (Missouri Farmers Assn.) and the Missouri Farm Bureau which insured the operation.
Ed and Ruth McEowen filed the nuisance lawsuit against the hog operators after barns were erected less than 1,000 feet from their home several years ago. One of the barns was constructed without a permit within 1000 feet of the McEowen home; a violation of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources regulations. The farm operated six years without an operating permit from DNR.
The settlement involves only odors up to the date of the settlement. But the McEowens said they were ready to file another nuisance action if the hog operation continued to harm their quality of life.
“Night was always the worst,” Ed McEowen said. “It’s like the monsters come out at night. The sickening stench just lays down here in the valley once the sun goes down. You could never invite anybody over because you never knew how bad the stench was going to be.”
At capacity the farm raises 7500 hogs. Hog waste has fouled a creek that runs through the McEowens’ property, the lawsuit said. The McEowens have lived on their 40-acre farm for 30 years and built the house and a workshop by hand.
Attorney Charlie Speer said he has about 350 cases involving large factory farms and odors around the state. This lawsuit “Sets the Bar for Future Settlements” and sends a clear message.