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Suit against First Wind over noise pollution dismissed

The Maine Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by an Aroostook County property owner against First Wind. Citing noise pollution, the plaintiff was seeking a buyout of his property so that he could move away from the turbines. Jennifer Mitchell reports.

The summary judgment for First Wind upholds a lower court ruling made earlier this year on a lawsuit brought by Michael Gosselin of Mars Hill.

“I’m feeling terribly disappointed in the justice system because I thought truth and justice would prevail,” Gosselin says. “And I’m very disappointed and really, really shocked.”

Gosselin, a disabled veteran who suffers from PTSD, claimed in the suit that noise created by the turbines, which are situated about 1.7 miles from his home, have made his life so stressful that he’s had to build a noise proof bunker in his garage.

“I’m going to have to continue sleeping in the garage until we can move out of the area I guess,” he says.

Gosselin was seeking a buyout of his property for fair market value. While First Wind settled similar disputes with 18 neighboring landowners last year, Gosselin was excluded from that case because he was judged to be too far from the turbines.

First Wind spokesman John Lamontagne says the company is pleased with the ruling, and glad that all parties are spared the ordeal of a trial.

“We work very hard to be good neighbors in the Mars Hill community,” Lamontagne says, “and I think we’ve been very successful when it comes to that.”

In the ruling, the justices say the lower court did not err when finding against Gosselin, who claimed the turbines created a nuisance and emotional distress.

Claims of personal and property damage from related activities were also tossed out, and a new claim of breach of contract was not heard. Gosselin says he may petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling.

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