Thursday, January 04, 2001

Lawyers work to settle suit against egg farm

The Associated Press

        NEWARK, Ohio — The state and its largest egg producer worked Wednesday to head off the trial of a lawsuit that accuses the company of dumping chicken carcasses, causing fly infestations and improperly handling manure that has polluted streams.

        The suit had been scheduled for trial Wednesday in Licking County Common Pleas Court, but lawyers for both sides held talks all day in an attempt to settle the case. The discussions were set to resume this morning.

        Buckeye Egg operates more than 130 barns in Hardin, Licking and Wyandot counties. It shipped 2.4 billion eggs in 1999, 4 percent of the nation's total production, to groceries and restaurants in 20 states.

        The state sued the company in December 1999, accusing Buckeye Egg of dumping dead chickens in a field; polluting creeks; and causing infestations of flies, beetles and other insects.

        The company has acknowledged the problems stemming from its operations, but has said it is taking steps to make improvements.


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