I read with interest April 2 Point of View “Our rural neighbors deserve better” by Sid Shapiro and Vanessa Zboreak, professors at Wake Forest University. They were making reference to House Bill 467 which I filed a few weeks ago.
While reading the article, I thought of something my grandmother used to tell me. She said “Jimmy, a half-truth equals a whole lie.” Certainly then, a series of half-truths equals a series of whole lies. The professors make statements that have some degree of truth in them but then present biased nontruthful conclusions.
HB 467 has been filed to clarify the types of damages a plaintiff could recover in a nuisance lawsuit. Not long ago a federal judge was asked to consider what types of damages a plaintiff could recover in nuisance cases and he concluded that North Carolina law was not clear. House Bill 467 makes the law clear.
It says that if a farm is found to be a nuisance, a plaintiff can recover up to the total value of their property. The lawyers don’t like that. They want to sue farmers for outrageous sums without having to prove real damages.
This bill is designed to protect 50,000 hardworking North Carolina farmers who are feeding a hungry world. Several other states, including Missouri, Iowa and Kansas, have already passed similar legislation that protects responsible farmers from nuisance lawsuits.
Ironically, one of the readers who responded to the article hit the nail on the head when she said “Follow the money.” If someone does that, they will discover a money trail that ends up in the pockets of a bunch of greedy lawyers who care more about themselves than the people they purport to represent.
The real nuisance is the stench of what these these greedy lawyers are peddling for their own benefit.
State Rep. Jimmy Dixon
The writer, a Republican, represents N.C. District 4. The length limit was waived to permit a fuller response to the POV.