Arkansas farmers angered at legal fees in Oklahoma poultry lawsuit

Tuesday, September 20th 2005, 6:24 am
By: News On 6

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas poultry companies and growers are upset over Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson's plan to share damages in an environmental lawsuit with private law firms.

Poultry companies and farmers say the plan shows the case is about money and politics rather than clean water.

Lincoln, Arkansas, farmer Gene Pharr says the costs of litigation will ultimately fall back on chicken farmers.

The federal lawsuit accuses 14 companies of polluting eastern Oklahoma lakes and streams through poultry litter runoff into the Illinois River watershed.

Edmondson has struck a contingency agreement with three private law firms. Their share of any award against the companies is capped at 50 percent.