Jury awards $600,000 in Thompson Farms damages trialYANKTON - A Yankton County jury awarded $600,000 Friday to Thompson Farms at the end of a seven-day trial.
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic
YANKTON - A Yankton County jury awarded $600,000 Friday to Thompson Farms at the end of a seven-day trial.
Thompson Farms sued Aurora County over a 1998 zoning law that capped the number of animals allowed in a feeding operation. At an earlier trial, a judge determined that the zoning law violated the rights of the Thompsons, who had invested in an expansion but ended up losing their farm.
Thompson Farms sought $2.6 million in damages.
The $600,000 award will not be covered by Aurora County's liability insurance. County officials failed to provide timely notice of the Thompson Farms lawsuit to the county's insurer, and the insurer won a legal decision releasing it from any responsibility to cover damages awarded to the Thompsons.
The damages trial was moved from Plankinton to Yankton because of the likelihood that jurors in the Plankinton area had seen extensive news coverage of the 14-year legal battle.
For more coverage of the verdict, look for updates on this site and read Saturday's print edition of The Daily Republic.