Louisville man sues JBS Pork Plant for ‘unpleasant’ odor in Butchertown area

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A Louisville resident is suing the JBS pork processing plant claiming the facility is responsible for the foul odor in the Butchertown neighborhood.

Nicholas Vail filed a federal lawsuit against the meat-packing giant, whose plant on Story Avenue produces an array of pork products.

According to the lawsuit, the facility processes 10,000 hogs per day and the quantities of dead animals and raw materials produce “highly noxious odors” that is an “unpleasant, harsh, and foul smell that is unbearable.”

The smell is not a new problem and anyone who frequents the area is likely familiar.

The suit argues that the company failed to properly contain and mitigate the odors and that it is invading nearby private, residential properties, neighborhoods, and outdoor spaces.

The lawsuit claims residents have frequently complained about the odors and many have reportedly expressed to Vail’s attorneys that it’s impacting their lives, ability to use and enjoy their homes and properties, and is reducing property value.

The complaints listed in the lawsuit date back to 2019, when the plant received notices of violations and a civil penalty from the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District for failures pertaining to maintenance of odor control.

Despite the violations and knowledge of its odor emission problem, the suit says the facility continues to emit the odors into the air outside of their property.

The plaintiff is asking the judge to issue an order saying that JBS was negligent in its construction, design, operation and maintenance of the facility.

Vail is also seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as a jury trial.

JBS has not responded to our request for comment on the legal matter.