PERDUE Farms Inc. is seeking to recover $2.5 million in attorneys' costs for defending itself and Alan and Kristin Hudson in a lawsuit brought by the Waterkeeper Alliance alleging that the Hudsons and Perdue had polluted waters that flow into the Chesapeake Bay.
Perdue is the fourth-largest chicken integrator in the U.S., and the Hudsons were contract growers for the company.
In its filing, Perdue said Waterkeeper, an activist environmental organization headed by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., continued its litigation of the case even after an alleged uncovered pile of chicken manure was demonstrated to be harmless biomass.
Waterkeeper sued the Hudsons and Perdue, maintaining that the "manure pile" leached into a ditch on the farm and, from there, leached into other waters that wind their way to the bay.
Waterkeeper said Perdue, as the contractor, should also be held responsible for the situation.
A federal judge last month ruled that the Hudsons and, therefore, Perdue did not pollute the waters as the Waterkeeper suit insisted (Feedstuffs, Dec. 24, 2012).