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Plaintiffs’ attorney verifies settlement reached in wind turbine lawsuit

McBAIN – The attorney for the plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit against the owners of the Missaukee County wind turbine project verified that a settlement has been reached in the suit.

Susan Topp, of Gaylord, confirmed to the Cadillac News that the two sides reached a settlement Thursday.

Other than that, Topp said she could not disclose the terms of the settlement.

An attorney for wind developer Heritage Sustainable Energy, Kurt Bowden, did not immediately return calls asking for comment.

A seven-day trial which had been scheduled to begin May 20 in 28th Circuit Court will not take place.

The suit was filed by Charles and Debby Wiltzer and their son, an elementary school student.

Charles Wiltzer contended that he notified Heritage Sustainable Energy that the planned construction of a wind turbine less than 1,500 feet from his home on Meyering Road West of McBain could cause his tinnitus to return and lead to hearing loss. Within a year, Heritage erected a wind turbine in a field across the road from the Wiltzer home.

With the wind turbine in place and in operation, the family reported infrasound and low frequency sound, inaudible or not, and a sustained highly disturbing rumbling noise.

All three members of the Wiltzer family claimed to have suffered from numerous issues as a result of the wind turbine’s operation, including sleep disturbance, dizziness, stress, fatigue, weight loss, headaches, and motion disturbance.

According to the suit, the members of the family went to live in a cottage in order to avoid the health effects of living near the wind turbine.

The family had sought declaratory and injunctive relief asking Heritage to stop the disturbance and allow them to live in their home.

Why it is important to you: Critics of wind turbine developments complain that the machines disturb sleep and cause discomfort. While some residents who live near wind turbines complain of wind turbine syndrome, major medical institutions have not confirmed the existence of a syndrome.

What you need to know: A Missuakee County family that complained of health problems caused by a wind turbine near their home has reached a legal settlement with the wind developer, Heritage Sustainable Energy. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.