A McBain family has filed suit against Heritage Sustainable Energy, the operators of the Stoney Corners Wind Farm in Missaukee and Osceola counties. The 29-turbine array generates more than 60 megawatts of electricity, which is more than enough to power Wexford County including the City of Cadillac.
According to the suit, filed in 28th Circuit Court in Missaukee County, plaintiffs are Charles and Debby Wiltzer and son, elementary school student, Seager. The family lives on Meyering Road west of McBain.
The Wilters contend that Charles has a history of tinnitus, or ringing of the ears, and otosclerosis, an abnormal growth of bone near the middle ear that can lead to hearing loss. He has had at least one operation to correct it, according to court documents.
In the suit, Charles Wiltzer says that at a Richland Township meeting in January, 2011, he informed a representative of Heritage that he had recently built a sunroom onto his home. That spring, he said he notified Heritage about his concerns that the planned construction of a wind turbine within 1,200 to 1,500 feet of his home could cause his tinnitus to return and lead to hearing loss. That year a wind turbine was constructed in a field across the road from the home.
According to court documents, the Wiltzers have reported infrasound and low frequency sound, whether it has been audible or not, as well as a sustained and highly disturbing rumble noise.
All three members of the Wiltzer family claim to have suffered from numerous issues as a result of the wind turbine’s construction, including sleep disturbance, dizziness, stress, fatigue, weight loss, headaches, motion disturbance, and so on.
According to the suit, the members of the family live in a cottage in order to avoid the health effects of living near the wind turbine.
Heritage Sustainable Energy project manager Rick Wilson said the company declined comment on the suit.
According to the Wiltzer’s attorney, Susan Topp of Gaylord, the $25,000 sought by her clients is a minimum threshold for filing the suit in Circuit Court.
“They want declaratory and injunctive relief asking them to stop the disturbance and allow them to live in their home,” Topp said.
Heritage has yet to file a response to the suit with the court, but is still within the deadline to do so.
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