DALLAS – The Kentucky Court of Appeals has affirmed without oral argument a 2015 ruling by a Jefferson Circuit judge allowing JBS USA LLC and Swift Pork Co. to proceed with improvements at the JBS Louisville Pork Plant in the Butchertown neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky.

The July 7, 2017, ruling brings to a close an eight-year legal battle between the company and the Butchertown Neighborhood Association over the issuance of a modified conditional use permit enabling the company to complete a series of building modifications designed to improve the appearance and functionality of the nearly 50-year-old plant. Originally opened in 1969, the Swift Pork plant is the last remaining major meat packing facility in the Butchertown area.

“This has been a protracted battle instigated by the Butchertown Neighborhood Association that was unnecessary for all concerned, including Louisville’s taxpayers,” said JBS appellate attorney Clayton Bailey of Dallas-based Bailey Brauer PLLC. “JBS has always shared the goals of the Butchertown Neighborhood Association in wanting to help improve the conditions at the plant, and by extension, the conditions of the entire neighborhood. However, the association overreached from the beginning, fighting every attempt at compromise, even at the expense of its own best interests.”

Among the improvements covered under the approved modified permit are a covered outdoor employee break area, a decorative fence in front of the facility, enclosure of a hog unloading chute, and a small modification to the facility that improves the humane treatment of the hogs.

The ruling also provides clarification on Kentucky’s land use law, said Mr. Bailey.

“The court has shown us that even if the surrounding area has evolved since the original permitting, a long-standing company can’t be forced all the way back to the drawing board when it seeks to make appropriate modifications to a facility,” he said. “It is a big win for businesses across Kentucky.”

Bailey Brauer PLLC is nationally recognized for its trial and appellate work and provides battle-tested, sophisticated courtroom experience in high-stakes litigation matters. Led by veteran trial and appellate lawyers Clayton Bailey and Alex Brauer, the firm focuses on complex commercial litigation, agribusiness, appeals, and class actions.