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Varnum Wins Second Consecutive Dismissal of Class Action Aimed at Food Processor

July 20, 2022

For the second time, Varnum has successfully defended a major food processing client in a class action lawsuit brought by plaintiffs who sued the company over nuisance and negligence claims related to alleged odors from the operation. The case was dismissed in Circuit Court in June 2020, and the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the decision last November. In April, the Michigan Supreme Court announced they would not hear the case, essentially upholding the lower court’s decision and exhausting the appeals process.

The named plaintiffs in the matter alleged for themselves and on behalf of the putative class that they were unable to use and enjoy their properties due to odors from the facility.

Varnum attorneys Brion Doyle, Peter Smit and Matt Eugster defended the company, arguing that Plaintiffs’ claims were time-barred under the applicable statute of limitations and that Plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative remedies under the Michigan Agricultural Processing Act. The trial court agreed with these arguments in dismissing the class action complaint, and the decision was affirmed on appeal.

This victory comes on the heels of the dismissal of a prior class action complaint that the same plaintiffs’ counsel filed in 2016. In that earlier case, Varnum also successfully argued that the nuisance and negligence odor claims were time-barred under the applicable statute of limitations. 

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