Wind turbine lawsuit proceeds

06-21%20LawsuitBy Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer
PORT RYERSE – A group of Port Ryerse residents are moving forward with a lawsuit against a wind turbine company and neighbours who have leased land to it. Notice of the lawsuit was recently filed at the Norfolk County courthouse. The lawsuit pits plaintiffs Heather and James Walters, Kathleen Pickard, Marlene and Larry Hoyt, John and Dona Coville, William Irvin and Ingrid Zyma-Irvin, David and Elaine Tobin, and Timothy and Inda Lyons against UDI Renewables of Nanticoke.

Also named as defendants are Port Ryerse property owners David and Chere Smith, Irene and Donald Steinhoff, Robert and Erma Woolley, and Janet Faulkner. According to a filing in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the plaintiffs are seeking a “permanent injunction restraining the construction and operation” of the UDI project, and “compensatory damages” from UDI in the amount of $3.25 million “for negligence, nuisance and trespass.”

The plaintiffs are also seeking $3.25 million from the defendants who have leased land to UDI. On top of this, the plaintiffs are seeking “punitive, exemplary and aggravated and mental distress damages in the amount of $1 million” from UDI and its clients in Port Ryerse. The action is a response to UDI’s plan to construct four wind turbines in the Port Ryerse area. In his filing, environmental lawyer Eric Gillespie, of Toronto, says the value of the plaintiffs’ property in Port Ryerse will depreciate substantially once the turbines are in place. Read article

29 thoughts on “Wind turbine lawsuit proceeds

  1. Is Eric Gillespie the best lawyer for the job?He has not won a single case yet.It could even come into question whether he even has enough staff to handle all the cases he has committed too. A question that needs serious looking at in my opinion .

    • I agree with that question Carol, even the Hagersville ERT was a dismal show ….

      • The problem with the ERTs is not the lawyer; the problem is the GEA. Read section 12.1 of 359/09. Read Ian Hanna’s take on the the preliminary in Ostrander Point. They built the rules to suppress us.

      • Owr , why does not a lawyer go to the superior court and bypass this fraudulent ERT process , and save all these people some money and time.

      • RW: OWR — Then why bother if the GEA is so formidable? (Rhetorical Question only…)

        wL — Because you have to follow the process — you must attempt to resolve at a lower court first. It’s part of “Beating you down” — in reality.

        It is a constitutional issue — but you must first go through the process and spend mucho moola on lawyers.

    • Do you know that ALL the other Bay St boys have been BOUGHT by wind developers?

    • Just look at the legal staff that the Ontario government has and the staffs that the big law firms have.
      The GEA was enacted to get IWTs installed as fast as possible and GEA provides the legal tools needed to get this accomplished.

    • Eric is awesome and very committed to this fight. I don’t think you will find any other lawyer who believes in our cause the way he does, nor one who would be so generous with his time.

  2. How many more lawsuits are “in the works” or “on their way”? Toby Barrett’s contention that these installations “will pit neighbour against neighbour” appears to be coming true IN EARNEST!
    This animosity, between rural neighbours, will stretch generations into the future!! I truly wish it were not so!

    • John,
      I can start the list of lawsuits off and others can add to it:
      Chatham-Kent has …
      -the Michaud family vs Suncor
      -Dover area residents vs IPC/Suez and some leaseholders
      Essex has…
      -Lakeshore residents vs Company or leaseholders??
      people from other areas can fill in the list.
      As soon as one lawsuit makes some headway, there will be a pile of people waiting to launch lawsuits.
      And hey, lets not forget the lawsuits against the gov’t (we are paying the tab for those too… like the World Trade Organization dispute… the offshore turbine project that is suing the gov’t etc.

      • Eric Gillespie may or may not be a “lightweight” … but it will be interesting to see how “heavyweight” Julian Falconer makes out with the Drennan case.

  3. You are right the ERTs are set up for failure and many dollars have been wasted.However, I still think that this lawyer has been ill prepared and perhaps over his head. Its not working so maybe it is time to go in another direction.
    I am hoping that a significant number of reps from Municipalities across Ont. will attend the Wainfleet Summit on the 22nd and come up with some concrete ideas about how to move forward.As you are aware many municipalities have just thrown in the towel or have BIG conficts of interest. They work for us and should be held accountable. No one ever said the job was easy and from what I have read on this blog they are being paid well.Government used to work for us but now it seems they tell us. It is time we quit asking and take back our rights is it not?

    • These preliminary hearings provide a means of setting up the hearing so it will move in the direction the government and the developers want it to move.
      It’s two against one with the judges thrown in as well.

      • It appears to me that a common pattern has emerged in all of the hearings so far as to what information/evidence will be allowed in. Then the rest is easy. Go with what wins.

    • Hi Carol, Keep getting the message out and get all residents in all rural Ontario municipalities to hassle their elected Councilors by phone and face to face and demand at least one member of every Council attends the Wainfleet symposium…………
      Incidentally, the lawsuit against Wainfleet is totally different from all the other lawsuits mentioned on these posts!
      Keep supporting Wainfleet Council loudly and publicly as they deserve.
      I have another question also, for any lawyers out there:
      Why are we not looking to the federal government to take up our case? I know they are equally in bed with this stupidity of wind energy, but is there no federal legal recourse to investigate a province and private corporations for deliberately harming their own provincial citizens who are also Canadian citizens? If municipalities have recourse to protect the ‘public health and property values’ of their communities against their upper tier provincial governments, is there no obligation or legal recourse for a federal government to take action to protect all Canadian citizens?
      Just asking?
      Andrew Watts

    • “This lawyer” as you put it has been restricted by the tribunal as to what he can do at the tribunal hearings and he is outmumbered to begin with. Not a very level playing field at all.
      As I mentioned above there appears to be a pattern emerging in these hearings as to what will be allowed to be presented in these hearings. Maybe someone who has followed this situation more closely can supply more information along these lines.

      • Carol, we know you are upset as we all are. But for lay people it is difficult to understand the legal process let alone like it.

      • Carol, read between the lines when I mention he has been restricted by the tribunal.

      • The way in which legal procedings are set up often affects the outcome of the proceedings. Lawyers can’t just introduce any evidence they want to include in a proceeding. This is largely predetermied before the proceedings begin.

  4. Carol, that is an ignorant comment. Clearly you have no idea what Eric has accomplished, against the odds, with the help and generosity of so many other people.

    How much have you paid Eric to represent you? If the answer is zero, then the fact is, Eric doesn’t owe you a thing.

    You know, the only reason these tragedies exist is because too many people feel they have authority to speak about things they obviously fail to understand.

  5. Suspicious & Dismayed,
    the last I checked this is a democracy and I am aloud to have an opinion that may be different from you. This certainly does not make you right and me wrong. What makes you the moral authority on this subject.

    • That’s funny, because last I checked, we DON’T live in a democracy.

      Nobody said you weren’t entitled to your opinion. I only pointed out that your opinion is uninformed, arrogant, counterproductive, and most importantly, disrespectful. Shame on you.

      • You said, “he hasn’t won a case yet,” but you failed to mention the gains that have been made.

        You also said Eric was “ill prepared,” “in over his head,” and you suggested that he committed to more than he could handle. These are accusations of professional incompetence.

        You’d better be careful, or else you might find yourself accused of slander.

      • S&D:

        I don’t see it. She asked some fair questions.

        Other than her spelling (Aloud is not the same as allowed) — I see none of the things you say.

        It’s a good question when one asks why Eric has not won much headway. Maybe the deck is stacked — maybe it’s something else. I know that I do not always agree with the strategies he pursues.

        There is nothing wrong with questioning “conventional wisdom” — the day we stop is the day we lose.

      • S&D:

        Slander is spoken words — you libel somebody in written form.

        I too think Eric is in over his head — maybe a few million dollars of support would cure that. It’s not disrespectful or wrong to say so.

        I work on many projects where I am “in over my head” — it’s the nature of my business to be ignorant and underfunded. Every time I need t overcome those hurdles. It does not even bother me anymore when I hear similar accusations. Education cures ignorance, $$$ donations cures the underfunding. Big deal.

  6. Folks, One lawyer, Mr Gillespie fighting the Province and the entire wind industry. Cut him some slack. Do you have any idea how much effort he has put into this?
    If you are not happy with it – get your own lawyer to help out more. Maybe even send a donation.

  7. Carol & S & D – that’s what is called ‘…pitting neighbour against neighbour…’!
    Whichever wind energy proponents follows these posts will be reading the above with glee and rubbing their hands. Probably have a good laugh over it tonight with their windy buddies!
    Eric may well have put many hours and much effort in but he is getting recompensed for it and so far we have yet to have a court decision go our way? .
    If, as is suggested elsewhere, the GEA is actually giving the courts a legal excuse to reject any of the lawsuits we are bringing against wind energy then it seems a bit silly to waste even more money for the same negative results?
    I think Carol does have every right to express her opinion, just as you have every right to jump to Eric’s defence. But I really think we need to stay together in fighting this awful threat which means at times we have to agree to disagree over some things………….. 🙂
    Andrew Watts

  8. “Ill prepared”? Is that a fair statement?

    And while I understand the difference between libel and slander, I only meant to point out that these are offensive statements. I suspect some don’t even understand that there is a distinction between “libel” and “liable.”

    • I am uncomfortable with this whole conversation. For one thing, why would somebody feel entitled to ask, “is he the best lawyer for this job?”? Considering the folks of Port Ryerse have been with him for some time now, obviously in their opinions, he is. And since they’re the ones footing the bill, presumably they’ve asked themselves, “is it worth it?” and decided, yes it is. If one is suggesting they have not been properly informed as to the risks/rewards of this legal strategy, then yes, these are discussions about professional competence.

      Secondly, I am uncomfortable with the direction this conversation is going, because of the inherently confidential nature of lawyer-client relationships.

      I agree, it is always a good idea to challenge the conventional, and step out of your comfort zone. Let us not forget the stakes are very high for all involved.

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