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Slaughtering Corporate Hogs

Ralph interviews North Carolina attorney, Mona Lisa Wallace, whose litigation team won more than $500 million in damages for the facility’s North Carolina neighbors against the hog production component of Smithfield Foods along with author Corban Addison who chronicled the gripping John Grisham-like tale in his book: “Wastelands: The True Story Of Farm Country On Trial.”

Mona Lisa Wallace is an attorney who has successfully brought and litigated numerous significant personal injury, wrongful death, defective drug, asbestos, class action, and mass-tort claims. She and her litigation team brought a lawsuit against the hog production component of Smithfield Foods, winning more than $500 million in damages for the facility’s North Carolina neighbors.

A company should never get a free pass to ruin someone’s use and enjoyment of their property. And what was so concerning to me was the primary neighborhoods that these lagoons and these hog factories were being built in were in neighborhoods of people with limited means, and of minorities of color… So, it seemed to be both an environmental issue, a health issue, and a racial injustice issue all in one.

Mona Lisa Wallace, led litigation team that brought lawsuits against the hog production component of Smithfield Foods


Corban Addison is an attorney, an activist, an internationally bestselling novelist, and the author of Wastelands: The True Story Of Farm Country On Trial.


At this point in time in America in 2022, I can’t say I’m shocked anymore by corporate malfeasance, by the attempt of the powerful to oppress and oppress and oppress and oppress and use every means at their disposal to oppress the poor, the disenfranchised, and to keep those folks down. So, I can’t say that I was shocked. But there definitely were moments, when I delved into the political power-brokering that went on, where it was hard to believe that it was true. It felt to me like the sort of thing that a novelist would make up.

Corban Addison, author of Wastelands: The True Story of Farm Country on Trial

As giant corporatism runs our country into the ground, the only real defiance comes from these trial lawyers in communities around the country, and the Seventh Amendment right of trial by jury in the courts of the land— in an open courtroom, subject to appeal, evidence on the record, people can walk into the courtroom and watch the proceedings. That’s about the only thing left. The corporations have bought the legislatures. They have dominated the judiciary at the Federal level in recent years. They control the regulatory agencies. It’s just the law of torts and trial by jury.

Ralph Nader


  1. Peter says:

    Why dd the episode numbers jump? they now don’t match What I downloaded

  2. Don Harris says:

    Couldn’t news organizations obtain video from inside hog farms then refuse to disclose how they got the video as a trade secret protected under anti-disparagement laws?

  3. Steve Brown says:

    Wikipedia has an entry on Smithfield Foods and a more specialized entry titled “Litigation related to Smithfield Foods” The link is below. The Wikipedia article is very biased in favor of Smithfield and biased against the legal effort to expose Smithfield’s abuses. The references section of the Wikipedia article does not list any of the favorable news articles that were mentioned on the Ralph Nader program. This is to suggest that Interested people attempt to improve that Wikipedia article.