Bill Would Protect Livestock Farms From 'Frivolous Suits'


A bill to protect livestock farms from "frivolous lawsuits" is advancing in the Indiana General Assembly.

House Bill (HB) 1091 already passed the Indiana House on a 57-to-39 vote and is awaiting action in the Senate. The measure resembles other recent attempts in farm states to impose criminal sanctions for defaming agricultural products or extend commercial privacy to prohibit undercover farm animal videos.

According to a summary, the bill:

- Provides that if a court finds that an agricultural operation that is the subject of a nuisance action was not a nuisance and that the nuisance action was frivolous, initiated maliciously, or groundless, the court shall award the expenses of litigation, including reasonable attorney's fees, to the defendant in the action.

- Provides that a choice of forum clause in a contract involving goods, services, or leases related to agricultural products, livestock, poultry, livestock products, poultry products, or an agricultural operation is not enforceable when the amount of damages being sought is less than $25,000.