Ubly Michigan Residents Settle Lawsuit with Wind Energy
Residents Settle Suit Against Wind Developers
From 2012 – An undisclosed settlement of a lawsuit filed by 20 residents claiming that the construction and operation of the wind farm caused the plaintiffs to suffer adverse health effects, emotional distress and economic damages. Court documents from the Huron County Clerk’s office list the defendants as John Deere Renewables, Deere & Co., Noble Environmental Power LLC, Michigan Wind 1 LLC and RMT Inc.
The lawsuit filed May 11, 2010 in Huron County noted the plaintiffs were seeking in excess of $25,000 with injunctive relief ordering the companies to cease and desist their activities.
Property Values a Potential Consideration
A key element that may have led to the settlement was evidence introduced by the plaintiffs that pointed to loss of property value. The wind companies unsuccessfully attempted to exclude the opinion and testimony of the plaintiffs’ property valuation expert, L. Mark St. Clair of Vasser, who inspected the plaintiffs’ properties. His opinion noted an $829,545 combined loss in property value since Jan. 1, 2009. St. Clair’s website notes that he provides appraisals for litigation dealing with Commercial-Agricultural-Industrial in the Bay, Huron, Lapeer, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac and Tuscola Counties.
Judge M. Richard Knoblock denied the motion by the plaintiffs’ to exclude St. Clair’s opinions and testimony on Dec. 23.
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