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Okla. AG vs. Ark. chicken farms

An AP story sheds light on another cozy AG-trial lawyer alliance flying largely under the national political radar:

...Decades of spreading chicken waste on the Ozark Mountains have turned the region [northwest Arkansas] a lush green, but a federal court lawsuit filed by Oklahoma's attorney general could stop the practice and, according to [farmer Gene] Pharr, gut an industry that over 75 years helped transform an isolated region into a vital part of the economy....

Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson last month sued 14 poultry producers, including several owned by Tyson, alleging their waste is polluting scenic rivers across the state line. ...

Edmondson is using the same South Carolina law firm that handled lawsuits against tobacco companies....

[In a previous chicken-pollution case filed by the city of Tulsa,] the city received only $200,000 of the $7.5 million settlement, with the bulk going to lawyers. Edmondson says Oklahoma's contract with lawyers in the latest case states that fees and expenses won't toll more than 50 percent. ...

The Arkansas growers question why Oklahoma sued rather than seek more regulatory standards.

For some political reaction within Oklahoma against Edmondson's activities, see our Mar. 21 report.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.