Court upholds hog verdict; Smithfield announces settlement
“We have resolved these cases through a settlement that will take into account the divided decision of the court,” Smithfield Foods Chief Administrative Officer Keira Lombardo said in a statement. North Carolina state law forced U.S. District Judge Earl Britt to cut the punitive damages to $2.5 million. Still, the initial award total worried the hog industry and state agriculture leaders, even causing the North Carolina legislature to pass a law further restricting such litigation. Circuit Judge Stephanie Thacker rejected several arguments from Smithfield's lawyers where they said Britt erred, including whether the issue of punitive damages should even have been put to the jury. Smithfield Foods hasn’t changed the dominant method of hog waste disposal since intensive hog operations multiplied in North Carolina in the 1980s and ’90s.
Christiansburg among Virginia DMV centers to reopen
RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Department of Transportation announced that it’s reopening four service centers for customers. Christiansburg, Farmville, Waynesboro and Woodstock are now open, by appointment only. Virginians have booked more than 196,000 appointments via DMV’s new appointment system since its launch on May 13, according to the Department of Transportation. Originally, 11 centers were reopened when Virginia entered Phase One. Now, 27 centers are open for customers across the state.