LETTER: Republican legislative leaders attacking private property rights

Editor:

SB 508 is not a bill against frivolous lawsuits or trial lawyers. This is a private property rights issue. The nuisance suit law is an old law to protect people’s right to enjoy their home and property.

For example, when you finally settle into your dream home and have a neighbor build a pig farm next door, it does not physically damage your property but, makes your life unbearable and you can no longer enjoy the investment in your home.

On a larger scale, the natural gas industry builds a 10-acre pad next door. The activity on the pad is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week of an industrial site a few hundred feet from your bedroom window. You now have dust/mud, lights, noise, fumes, trucks coming to the pad. Loud compressors, speeding trucks, county roads impassable, and even worse your source of water becomes unusable. You cannot move because the value in your home has dropped and you need that equity to relocate.

The industry has found themselves with rural residents who were hopeless, until they were advised of their right to sue under the nuisance suit law. They now have some hope to get compensated for their damages.

Now, the Senate passes a bill to change the law for the industry. SB 508 changes the nuisance suit law to favor an industry that has created unbearable situations for innocent people.

We need a balance between rural residents and industry so we can all live together. The industry has bullied our mineral and landowners. Don’t change the law for them so they can continue their abuse. Please tell delegates to vote “no” on SB 508. Changing the rules for these bullies to continue their abuse is a vote against private property owners.

Thank you Sen. Douglas E. Facemire and Sen. Mike Romano for voting “no” on this bill in the Senate. They are friends of rural residents.

Bill Suan

Lost Creek

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