Court gives go ahead to lawsuit challenging Central Valley egg producer
August 12, 2010
• Humane Society says it’s a case of toxic pollution
• ‘This facility has flouted federal and state pollution laws for years’
A lawsuit against a massive Central Valley egg producer that’s been wending iits way through the courts since 2008, has gotten a push by a federal court.
The Humane Society of the United States along with several Lathrop are suing Olivera Egg Ranch, one of California’s largest egg farms, for releases of what they contend are high levels of the toxic gas ammonia.
Ruling from the bench, U.S. District Judge John Mendez rejected Olivera's motion for summary judgment and motions to dismiss, and ordered the case to proceed to trial.
“This facility has flouted federal and state pollution laws for years, and the Humane Society of the United States intends to see some semblance of justice done for the local residents, environment, and animals who have all suffered at the hands of this factory farm,” says Jonathan Lovvorn, vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation at the HSUS.
The farm regularly confines more than 700,000 hens in cages and dumps 133,000 pounds of manure every day into lake-sized cesspools that release large amounts of ammonia and other noxious gases, the suit says.
It also alleges that Olivera's failure to report its daily pollution violates federal environmental laws and that the stink constitutes a nuisance under California state law.
The court previously ordered Olivera to pay $143,057 in sanctions for destroying evidence related to air pollution on its property in 2009.