The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that a statute that limited recovery in nuisance cases involving agricultural operations is constitutional. Plaintiffs had sued a hog farm in Boone County claiming that the odor from that farm constituted a nuisance and wanted millions of dollars for the “loss of use and enjoyment” of their property. It was one of a series of cases filed by out-of-state plaintiffs lawyers against hog and cattle producers. Some of those cases resulted in verdicts that exceeded the value of the plaintiff’s property.
In 2011, the new law was enacted that limited recovery in nuisance cases to the loss of the value in the plaintiff’s property, along with any documented medical condition proved to be caused by the nuisance. Damages for “loss of use and enjoyment” were eliminated. The legislature passed the statute in order to promote the growth of Missouri’s largest industry – agriculture.