Marion County Judge Upholds Damages Awarded to Organic Farm in Runaway Cow Case

Columbia River

A Marion County judge recently upheld a $37,564 jury award in favor of an Aurora organic farm after a trial this September.

Birl and Linda Simington, owners of Simington Gardens, sued a neighboring farm, Rock Ridge Farms LLC, after some of Rock Ridge’s dairy cows escaped their gated enclosure and trampled and defecated on the Simingtons’ organic crops on April 16, 2014. Rock Ridge Farms LLC is owned by Charles Eggert, the founder and former president of Pacific Foods of Oregon. Campbell Soup Company recently acquired Pacific Foods for $700 million.

According to the lawsuit, Rock Ridge’s workers, in the process of rounding up the runaway cows, also trampled a portion of the Simingtons’ crop of leafy greens. The extensive damage and manure exposure forced the Simingtons to uproot and dispose of the crop and leave the field fallow for 120 days, as required by Oregon organic produce standards.

In addition to the $37,564 in damages, the Simingtons are also entitled to their reasonable attorney fees incurred in bringing the action.

Dunn Carney attorneys Anne Foster and Tim Bernasek represented Simington Gardens and Birl and Linda Simington.