By Erin Smith
The first of the appeals of the verdicts in the first three hog farm lawsuits against Murphy Brown, LLC may soon be moving forward after the plaintiffs filed a motion Wednesday afternoon withdrawing their opposition to the appeal.
The Plaintiffs’ attorney, Michael Kaeske, filed three motions on Wednesday afternoon in the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. The first motion notes there is no reason to delay the entry of final judgement in the first three cases which were tried. This will clear the way for the appeals process to begin.
The second motion filed by Kaeske requests the appeal process be allowed to start sooner rather than later. The second motion reads, “It would benefit all parties to allow the appeal process to be commenced for the First Trial Plaintiffs, because the many Plaintiffs out of the over 500 total whose claims are yet to be tried would benefit from earlier rather than later resolution at the appellate level of any issues arising out of rulings made in prior cases.” This motion also notes that the 25 cases that have been identified to move forward to trial represent only a small portion of the total number of cases waiting to be tried.
So far, trials have been conducted in the Terry Sanford Federal Courthouse in Raleigh involving Kinlaw Farms, Dean Hilton and Joey Carter. All ending with large payouts for the Plaintiffs.
The second motion also notes there are no counterclaims, cross-claims or other concerns regarding the final judgement in the cases. The motion also states that an “immediate appeal” is supported.
In the third motion, the Plaintiffs are asking the Appellate Court to uphold the damages awarded in the original verdicts along with any accrued interest. Read the motions in their entirety here.
The next two cases have been continued and are scheduled to be heard in November. Judge Earl Britt was removed from hearing the next set of cases. Judge David Faber of West Virginia will hear the next two cases. No reason was given why Judge Britt was replaced or whether or not he will hear any of the cases remaining in the future.
No official court date for the first appeal to be heard has been announced.