Horvitz & Levy LLP successfully obtained affirmance of a judgment following a jury verdict in favor of an egg ranch in a nuisance, trespass, and negligence suit brought by the ranch’s neighbors.
Neighbors of the Olivera Egg Ranch, a large egg ranch in rural San Joaquin County, sued the ranch’s owners for damages, claiming that the ranch’s operations caused unreasonable levels of dust, odor, and flies. The defense denied plaintiffs’ claims and argued that California’s Right to Farm Act (Civ. Code, § 3482.5) insulated its operations from liability. After a lengthy trial that included testimony that the ranch was operated in accordance with community standards in San Joaquin County, a jury rejected plaintiffs’ nuisance, trespass, and negligence claims. On appeal, plaintiffs challenged the judgment on the basis of alleged instructional error regarding the Right to Farm defense, evidentiary errors, and jury misconduct.
Horvitz & Levy LLP was retained on behalf of the ranch’s owners to defend the judgment on appeal. We argued that there was substantial evidence supporting the Right to Farm Act defense, and we argued that the trial court’s Right to Farm instruction was legally correct. We also argued that there was no prejudicial evidentiary error or jury misconduct. The Court of Appeal agreed with our arguments and affirmed the judgment in an unpublished opinion.