Disagreements Arise on Trial Schedule for Massachusetts Pork Product Size Limits Case

Pork processors and Massachusetts state officials find themselves at odds over the ideal timeline for a trial concerning the state’s regulations imposing limits on the sale of pork from hogs raised in pens deemed too small.

Triumph Foods and other plaintiffs initiated a lawsuit against the state, alleging that the rule unfairly discriminates against hog farmers and pork processors from outside Massachusetts.

Court filings reveal that the plaintiffs are pushing for an expedited trial and have requested an early partial summary judgment from the federal judge.

Contrastingly, the state has proposed a pre-trial and trial schedule that involves discovery stages, aiming for a trial in January 2024. The emphasis is on gathering essential information to ensure a fair trial.

On September 28, the state took a proactive step by filing a motion to dismiss part of the lawsuit, arguing that it lacked merit. This move came after a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling favored California in a similar case. The judge partially sided with the state, deciding to narrow down the case’s focus to the commerce clause in the United States Constitution.

In a development in August, both parties reached an agreement that the rule would not be applicable to pork meat already in the supply chain as of August 23. Furthermore, the rule does not extend to whole pork passing through distribution centers in the state but ultimately destined for restaurants outside Massachusetts.