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Couple files lawsuit against wind company

A local doctor and his wife have filed a lawsuit against the operator of a nearby wind farm saying they are losing sleep from the the constant ''whooshing'' and ''screeching'' caused by the wind turbines. Blair County Judge Daniel J. Milliron on Friday concluded his initial review of the lawsuit brought by Todd and Jill Stull of Portage RD, Blair County. Milliron kept the lawsuit largely intact although he dismissed several counts of the legal complaint including one that charged Gamesa Energy and its subsidiary, Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm LLC, with creating a public nuisance.

A local doctor and his wife have filed a lawsuit against the operator of a nearby wind farm saying they are losing sleep from the the constant ''whooshing'' and ''screeching'' caused by the wind turbines.

Blair County Judge Daniel J. Milliron on Friday concluded his initial review of the lawsuit brought by Todd and Jill Stull of Portage RD, Blair County.

Milliron kept the lawsuit largely intact although he dismissed several counts of the legal complaint including one that charged Gamesa Energy and its subsidiary, Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm LLC, with creating a public nuisance.

According to attorney Bradley S. Tupi of Pittsburgh, representing the Stulls, it is difficult under Pennsylvania law to sue for a public nuisance.

The judge allowed the civil charge against Allegheny Ridge of creating a private nuisance to stand, Tupi said.

He said public and private nuisance complaints overlap, indicating that elimination of the public nuisance claim would not greatly effect the Stulls' ability to continue with the lawsuit.

Gamesa, which has a manufacturing facility in Cambria County, made and installed the wind farm which is operated by Allegheny Ridge, owned by Babcock and Brown. Milliron... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A local doctor and his wife have filed a lawsuit against the operator of a nearby wind farm saying they are losing sleep from the the constant ''whooshing'' and ''screeching'' caused by the wind turbines.

Blair County Judge Daniel J. Milliron on Friday concluded his initial review of the lawsuit brought by Todd and Jill Stull of Portage RD, Blair County.

Milliron kept the lawsuit largely intact although he dismissed several counts of the legal complaint including one that charged Gamesa Energy and its subsidiary, Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm LLC, with creating a public nuisance.

According to attorney Bradley S. Tupi of Pittsburgh, representing the Stulls, it is difficult under Pennsylvania law to sue for a public nuisance.

The judge allowed the civil charge against Allegheny Ridge of creating a private nuisance to stand, Tupi said.

He said public and private nuisance complaints overlap, indicating that elimination of the public nuisance claim would not greatly effect the Stulls' ability to continue with the lawsuit.

Gamesa, which has a manufacturing facility in Cambria County, made and installed the wind farm which is operated by Allegheny Ridge, owned by Babcock and Brown. Milliron dismissed all of the counts against Gamesa because the complaints concern the operation of the wind farm.

One of the civil counts against Allegheny Ridge and Gamesa however, fraudulent misrepresentation, could be reinstated, Milliron said, depending on the facts presented by the Stulls.

When Gamesa and Allegheny Ridge came to the area, the companies assured local authorities that the windmills would be quiet, and that a 2,000-foot required setback from nearby homes would be enough to protect residents from noise, the lawsuit states.

The civil lawsuit contends the companies knew the windmills would not be quiet.

Milliron said Tupi must give more details of the claims by the two companies.

He tossed out the prospect of punitive, or punishment damages, against Allegheny Ridge because the legal complaint does not show ''outrageous conduct.'' Tupi said the request for punitive damages can be reinstated if additional facts are presented concerning actions by Allegheny Ridge.

Milliron said the Stulls can sue for anxiety and emotional distress, noting the legal complaint shows, on its face, the noise and vibrations from the windmills have caused stress.

The lawsuit primarily involved installation of the wind farm in Juniata Township, Blair County, but the wind farm encompasses Greenfield Township in Blair as well as Portage, Washington and Cresson townships in Cambria County.

Milliron has let stand a trespass claim which means there is enough evidence at this point that the noise and other problems could represent an intrusion into the privacy of the Stull property.

The Stulls have owned 100 acres of ground in Juniata and Greenfield townships since 1992.


Source: http://www.altoonamirror.co...

DEC 8 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/18201-couple-files-lawsuit-against-wind-company
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