The Hudson family farm was cleared of any wrong doing by the Maryland Department of the Environment in 2010, yet the Waterkeeper Alliance persisted in the case over a period of close to three years, racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and nearly bankrupting the Hudson family in their misguided campaign to end contemporary agriculture.
In his 50-page ruling Judge Nickerson stated, “When citizen groups take up that mantle, however, they must do so responsibly and effectively. The Court finds that in this action, for whatever reason, Waterkeeper did not meet that obligation.”
Richardson said that there was a complete lack of understanding of common farm practices and that the Waterkeeper Alliance’s agenda all along had been clear – to make the Hudsons their scapegoat and essentially put all farmers operating chicken farms across the country out of business. “We are grateful that justice prevailed and common sense won the day. However, we remain concerned that other farmers will suffer the same fate as the Hudsons at the hands of bullies armed with millions of celebrity fueled dollars and an attitude of taking farmers down at all costs, with or without evidence,” he said.
The costs associated with fighting a case of this magnitude and the stress that the Hudsons endured while trying to keep their farm operating and provide for their children justifies more than a simple “not guilty” verdict.