August 26, 2010

Some counts against wind companies dismissed

By Kate Hessling, Tribune Staff Writer, Huron Daily Tribune, 25 August 2010

BAD AXE – Huron County Circuit Court Judge M. Richard Knoblock on Monday dismissed two of four counts against John Deere Renewables, LLC, Deere & Company and Michigan Wind 1, LLC, and one of four counts against Noble Environmental Power, LLC in a lawsuit filed by 20 Huron County residents claiming the Ubly area Michigan Wind I development has harmed their quality of life and lowered property values.

In the lawsuit, which was filed May 11 in Huron County Circuit Court against John Deere Renewables, Deere & Company (John Deere), Noble Environmental Power, LLC, Michigan Wind I, LLC (Noble Thumb Windpark I) and RMT, Inc., the plaintiffs are seeking in excess of $25,000 and an injunctive relief ordering the companies to cease and desist their activities.

The lawsuit consists of four counts: Private nuisance (Count I), public nuisance (Count II), negligent design of a wind farm (Count III) and negligent misrepresentation (Count IV). While the lawsuit names John Deere Renewables, John Deere, Michigan Wind I, LLC and Noble Environmental Power, LLC in all four counts, RMT, Inc. is named only in Count III.

During Monday’s hearing, Knoblock weighed in on arguments from attorneys representing Noble Environmental Power, LLC, regarding its request to have Count IV of negligent misrepresentation dismissed. Attorneys from John Deere Renewables, John Deere and Michigan Wind I, LLC asked the judge to dismiss Count III of negligent design of a wind farm and Count IV of negligent misrepresentation.

Regarding Count IV of negligent misrepresentation alleged in the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim the wind companies made false representations in board of commissioner and planning commission meetings and public hearings when company representatives said the wind farm’s operations would not result in a noise nuisance or cause adverse health effects to adjacent landowners.

“(The defendants) were negligent in making these misrepresentations because, as the parties seeking approval to construct a wind turbine farm in Huron County, they had a duty to use reasonable care to provide Huron County and its citizens with both accurate and complete information,” the lawsuit states.

Read the full version of this article in the Huron Daily Tribune or online in our e-Edition.

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