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Hickmans Family Farms Lawsuit Moves Forward With Oral Arguments Friday

Hickmans Family Farms
Casey Kuhn/KJZZ
A street view of Hickmans Egg Farm in Tonopah.

Lawyers are meeting in court Friday to argue their case in a civil lawsuit claiming local egg company Hickmans Family Farms is a nuisance in Tonopah.

The confusing thing about this case is that it’s an amalgamation of several claims.

One where citizens in Tonopah are claiming the 4 million hen chicken farm Hickmans built in 2014 is a public nuisance. Another where Hickmans has sued other locals asking for a judge to declare that they are not a nuisance. And two others where local businesses say the farm has hurt property values and profits.

Lawyer Nick Verderame represents the nuisance plaintiffs.

“Our claim is that Hickmans is directly taking away the ability of the citizens of Tonopah to pursue happiness and enjoy their property,” Verderame said.     

Friday's oral arguments will be on motions to dismiss Hickman’s declaratory lawsuit and Hickman’s request to keep some evidence confidential, among others.

Casey Kuhn reports from KJZZ’s West Valley Bureau. She comes to Phoenix from the Midwest, where she graduated from Indiana University with a degree in journalism.Kuhn got her start in radio reporting in college at the community public radio station, WFHB. She volunteered there as a reporter and worked her way up to host the half-hour, daily news show. After graduating, she became a multimedia reporter at Bloomington's NPR/PBS station WFIU/WTIU, where she reported for and produced a weekly statewide news television show.Since moving to the Southwest, she’s discovered a passion for reporting on rural issues, agriculture and the diverse people who make up her community.Kuhn was born and raised in Cincinnati, where her parents instilled in her a love of baseball, dogs and good German beer. You’ll most likely find her around the Valley with a glass of prosecco in one hand and a graphic novel in the other.She finds the most compelling stories come from KJZZ’s listeners.