DALLAS – JBS USA LLC and Swift Pork Co. have won a ruling that allows the company to make a series of major improvements at the JBS Louisville Pork Plant in the Butchertown area of Louisville, Kentucky.

The judge’s order clears the way for JBS to complete work on a set of improvements aimed at upgrading the appearance of the plant as well as reducing the plant’s impact on the surrounding neighborhood. The improvements include an enclosed chute for processing animals, a covered outdoor employee break area, a decorative fence in front of the facility, and a small expansion of the plant’s processing area. Click here and here to see news coverage of the ruling.

The Louisville Metro Board of Zoning Adjustment (BOZA) approved the proposed improvements in March 2014, but that ruling was appealed by the Butchertown Neighborhood Association (BNA), which has a history of lodging complaints against JBS. In her April 7 ruling, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Ann Bailey Smith upheld the zoning board’s decision and chastised the neighborhood association for its history of antagonism toward JBS:

[T]he Association has made what amounts to hyper technical objections to the Board’s approval process that can only lead the Court to conclude that the Association’s problem is not with the physical modifications themselves, but with JBS’ very presence in Butchertown. Indeed, the Association’s main objection is that the Board did not reconsider the conditional use permit it issued in 1969 for the entire premises, thus calling into question whether JBS should continue to operate its meat packing plant in the neighborhood at all.

Attorney Clayton Bailey, a name partner in the Dallas complex litigation boutique Bailey Brauer PLLC who briefed and argued JBS’ case before Judge Smith, says he is gratified by her decision.

“We are pleased the court recognized and agreed with the merits of our position,” he says. “Our goal remains the same, to continuously improve the performance of our operation and our standing within the community. As Judge Smith points out, the Butchertown Neighborhood Association seems to want JBS to leave the area altogether. And since the neighborhood is called ‘Butchertown,’ it’s not like neighbors weren’t aware of where they were moving. More importantly, the thousands of employees who work at the plant most definitely want it to stay where it is.”

Along with Mr. Bailey, JBS was represented by Glenn Price and Bart Greenwald from the Louisville office of Frost Brown Todd LLP.

This is the second recent ruling JBS has won against the Butchertown neighborhood group. On March 2, Circuit Court Judge A.C. McKay Chauvin dismissed the association’s lawsuit against JBS and the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government over JBS’ use of a nearby parking lot as a staging area for trucks awaiting pickup by grocery stores. Click here to see news coverage of that ruling.

Bailey Brauer PLLC is committed to providing efficient, effective legal representation in high-stakes litigation. Led by experienced trial and appellate lawyers Clayton Bailey and Alex Brauer, the firm focuses on complex commercial litigation, agribusiness, appeals, and class and collective actions. For more information, please contact Bailey Brauer today.