Mountaire settlement in pollution case OK’d
The Delaware Superior Court on Monday approved a $65 million settlement between chicken processor Mountaire Farms and a group of residents in Millsboro, Del., who raised pollution concerns in 2017.
Attorneys in the case reached an agreement in December, but the court did not approve it until Monday.
Privately held Mountaire Farms, which has its corporate offices in Little Rock, agreed to resolve all remaining issues brought by the Millsboro residents who claimed the company improperly disposed of fowl wastewater and sludge on lands near their properties. It resolved all issues with a separate group of plaintiffs in 2019.
While Mountaire does not believe it caused any damage to any of the plaintiffs, it chose to settle the case in order to achieve a final resolution and to allow construction of a new wastewater treatment plant to proceed, a news release said.
As part of the agreement, Mountaire plans to create a fund to be used for payments to those in the Millsboro area claiming damages as a result of its wastewater treatment practices. The settlement resolves all outstanding class action claims for injuries, damages or nuisance. “We are moving ahead with building our new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant, which is advancing quickly,” Mountaire President Phillip Plylar said in a written statement. “We’re ready to put this chapter behind us and forge a new relationship with our neighbors moving forward.”