Landowners Do Not Always Win

The Illinois Enbridge cases have created substantial publicity and hostility in the community. Because of the problems in Michigan, Enbridge is treated as the “goat” of all condemnation authorities. Realistically, once Enbridge obtains its power to acquire from the state or federal regulatory authorities, condemnation will occur.

The issue is then one solely of damages. Although people were complaining in the Bloomington, Illinois area, the judge excluded testimony. On appeal, there is the likely chance that the decision will be reversed because of the court’s refusal to allow the owners to testify. However, one thing is clear in all litigation and that is there is no certainty of success for anyone.

“Last week, Lawrence ruled landowners would not be allowed to testify, and on Wednesday he barred three experts for the landowners from testifying, essentially removing all potential evidence in the landowners’ case. The judge’s rulings were based on his opinion that views from the landowners and experts on the hazards of pipelines were not relevant to the proceedings.

Tom Pliura, attorney for the landowners, said Thursday that “we respectfully disagree with the ruling and believe the landowners have a right to have the value of their property determined by a jury.”