Kentucky Court of Appeals Hands JBS USA Win in Land Use Dispute at Butchertown Processing Plant

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

July 17th, 2017|Categories: News, Press Release|

5th Circuit: Texas Partnership Liability Withstands 19th Century SCOTUS Ruling

By Mark Curriden, The Texas Lawbook – (July 4, 2017) – A North Dakota farming couple cannot rely on a 145-yearold court ruling to avoid paying past debts under Texas general partnership liability law, according to a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. John and Dawn Keeley have until Thursday to file a petition for rehearing at the Fifth Circuit for their claims that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1872 ruling in Frow v. De Le Vega protects them from individual liability from debts accumulated from a now-defunct agribusiness partnership. But Clayton Bailey, a Dallas lawyer for Crop Production Services, says the Keeleys cannot use the 19th century decision to escape $1.3 million owed his client. A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit, in a ninepage per curiam decision, agreed in a unanimous ruling issued June 20. “This case demonstrates that business partners need to take specific steps to protect themselves in general partnerships,” says Bailey, who is a partner at Bailey Brauer in Dallas. The dispute dates back to a January 2008, when the Keeleys and another couple from North Dakota, Tom and Mary Grabanski, formed a business partnership to farm property in Northwest Texas. A month later, the partnership, G&K Farms, borrowed an estimated $642,669.55 in seeds, chemicals and fertilizer from Denver-based CPS. “Mr. Keeley agreed to personally guarantee payment and performance of G&K Farms and assumed personal liability for all obligations due to CPS,” court records show. Court documents show that CPS invoiced G&K Farms multiple times in 2008 and 2009, but was never paid. In September 2009, the Keeleys legally signed over their interests in G&K Farms to the Grabanskis. Four years later, Grabanski filed for Chapter 7

July 7th, 2017|Categories: Cases, News|