Motion to reconsider filed in suit over odorous pig farm

By Christina Stueve Hodges | Dec 14, 2012

Ronald Seabaugh, a defendant in a lawsuit over his allegedly odorous pig farm, has again requested St. Clair County Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot grant his motion to dismiss.

Seabaugh states that he has no interest or involvement in the subject property at 1682 Barr Road in Greenfield where his swine farm "Fragrant 40" operates.

Seabaugh, as sole member of Fragrant 40, says that his interest in Fragrant 40 is that of an investor. Activities of the subject property were conducted by Fragrant 40, LLC or its agents and contractors, Seabaugh's motion states.

The motion further states that the income of the subject property is received and paid by Fragrant 40, LLC.

“There is no factual basis in the case to support piercing the corporate veil or disregarding the entity, and attaching liability to the entity’s member,” states the defense motion to reconsider Lopinot's earlier ruling on dismissal.

The Macoupin County neighbors of the 4,500-swine farm say they are unable to host family gatherings and sleep in their home because of the smell emanating from the farm.

Joe Clark, Megan Clark, Bob Norris and Tom Gall filed the suit last February against Fragrant 40, Ronald D. Seabaugh and Jeff Seabaugh.

The defendants responded with a motion to dismiss stating the case should have been filed in Macoupin County over St. Clair County, since the alleged incident occurred in Macoupin County.

Lopinot denied the motion to dismiss on July 24.

The defendants filed a motion to reconsider Aug. 23, stating the alleged acts and injuries took place in Macoupin County.

“The only connection this matter has to St. Clair County is the residence of Ronald Seabaugh, a member of the Fragrant 40, LLC and its former registered agent," the motion to reconsider states.

“Evaluation of the total circumstances clearly demonstrates that both the public and private factors weigh strongly in favor of transfer to Macoupin County, Ill., the site of the alleged injury and bad acts."

The plaintiffs countered with a plea to deny the defense motion to reconsider.

“The purpose of a motion to reconsider is to bring the court’s attention to newly discovered evidence,” the plaintiff’s motion stated. “Defendants do not raise any newly discovered evidence.”

Gregory Shevlin of Cook Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer and Shevlin in Belleville represents the plaintiff.

In addition to Shevlin, Richard H. Middleton Jr. of The Middleton Firm in Savanna, Ga.; and Charles F. Speer of Speer Law Firm in Kansas City, Mo., represent the plaintiffs.

Peter Naylor and Claire Manning of Brown, Hay & Stephens in Springfield represent the defense.

Mark Goldenberg and Holly Reese of Goldenberg Heller Antognoli & Rolland in Edwardsville also represent Fragrant 40, LLC, Ronald D. Seabaugh and Jeff Seabaugh.

Fragrant 40's next court date is Jan. 22.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-111.

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