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U.S. — 60 Neighbours sue wind company for negative health effects and other issues

Marlene Kennedy — Courthouse News Service — October 30, 2012

Wind Farm Called Giant Pain in the Neck

ALBANY, N.Y. (CN) – Dozens of neighbors of a $200 million wind farm sued the companies behind it, claiming noise and lights give them migraines, make them nervous and keep them up at night.
Their dogs bark too much, dairy cows are less productive, and TV and Internet services are interrupted, the 60 plaintiffs claim in Albany County Supreme Court.
All live within a mile of the Hardscrabble Wind Power Project, northeast of Utica in the rural communities of Fairfield, Middleville and Norway.
Iberdrola USA and a slew of affiliates are named as defendants, along with Hardscrabble Wind Power, Atlantic Wind USA and affiliates, engineering consultant CHM2 Hill and staff acoustical engineer Mark Bastasch.
The property owners claim the defendants “carelessly and negligently failed to adequately assess and/or test the site of the Hardscrabble project to determine whether the subject project would be feasible and/or produce reasonable benefits to the community.”
They say the wind farm – with 37 turbines that stand 476 feet tall – is too large, too noisy and too close to their homes….

… The plaintiffs accuse the companies of negligence, private nuisance, trespass and strict products liability. They seek punitive damages, saying that “all of the defendants acted willfully, recklessly, were grossly negligent, and/or acted with a conscious disregard with regard to each of the allegations set forth in this complaint.”
The 49-page complaint details a litany of damages from each plaintiff, from headaches and stress to sediment in drinking water and airport-like noises.
Plaintiff Diane Abele says she has lost profits from her dairy farm “because the cows have been less productive since defendants built the turbines.”
Plaintiffs Bernadette Baylor and Richard Baylor Jr. say they have been unable to sell their house and land since the wind turbines were installed. They claim that because of the turbines’ noise, they abandoned their home, now rent another, and were forced to file for bankruptcy.

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