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Lawsuit against landowner and wind turbine company proceeds in District Court
By Stop Fannin-Lamar Wind
Jun 17, 2024
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Lease-signing landowner sued by neighbor

Bonham, Texas (June 10, 2024) — On Thursday, the 6th of June, the first lawsuit filed in the 336th District Court against one of the landowners signing a wind lease-and the wind landman, Cielo Wind, received its first hearing.

The plaintiffs bringing the suit for destruction to property value and loss of livelihood under Texas’ nuisance law successfully defeated the motion to dismiss brought by defendant’s counsel; clearing the case to be added to the trial calendar.

This is an important first step to hold landowners personally responsible for the effects of bringing offshore-size, 800 foot high Industrial Wind Turbines into Fannin and Lamar county communities and in close proximity to homes and businesses.

"Nobody has a right to deprive their neighbors of a substantial proportion of the value of their home and property, or of their business, by any action -- and certainly not under cover of ‘property rights’," said Chris Wilson, Fannin County landowner and member of a local group working to raise awareness of the runaway, so-called 'green' development being fueled by subsidies from Washington, D.C. "It is a fact that American homeowners have an average of 45% of their net worth tied up in their primary residence, and that these same landowners stand to lose 25-30% of this property value with turbines being sited next door. In this case the plaintiffs would suffer from the double whammy effect of also losing their established aviation electrical maintenance business that is operated from an airfield on their property. With these companies unwilling to work with residents who don’t want them nearby, and our elected officials working too slowly to help us here, their only possible path was to go to the courts for relief to protect their own property rights."

Local group responds

The group formed 2 years ago to fight this proposed development, Stop Fannin-Lamar Wind (www.0windfarms.com), and numbering 1000+ local residents provided this further statement:

“We were heartened to see this motion to dismiss denied, as we believe that once a jury gets to hear this and the other cases being filed-the landowners that contemplate signing leases will see that this is not “free money”. The impacts to residents being taken advantage are devastating-all so that just a very few local landowners and foreign developers can make some money as they continue to colonize Texas with these projects. We believe that any jury will side with those most affected, and uncompensated. Property rights are also equally held by people such as this business owner, and courts have long stepped in when the activity of one landowner has this much impact to their neighbor. We look forward to the success of this lawsuit -- and the others coming from other landowners and businesses that will be affected.”

Dismissal motion

The law firm for the landowner and landman answered the lawsuit filing with a request to throw out the suit, asserting that nuisance lawsuits in Texas are supposedly not actionable, and that because the project isn’t being built yet-that no damage has occurred. Plaintiff’s counsel successfully made the points that the mere threat to build, being publicly advertised, was already having an affect on property values and the plaintiff’s business that needed to be stopped-and that indeed these types of claims have a basis in Texas case law. The motion was denied, and this case now will go to trial.