RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a 2018 jury verdict that led to monetary awards for neighbors of an eastern North Carolina industrial hog operation for its smells and noise. Thursday’s ruling by a panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected calls for a new trial by Smithfield Foods. It’s a parent company of the firm sued by Bladen County residents living next to one of its previous contract farmers. Judges did rule in favor of Smithfield’s subsidiary on the issue of punitive damages. Smithfield announced later it had reached a settlement with plaintiffs involved in this and other hog nuisance litigation.